China's Uber worth $50 billion after raising more cash

Uber and Didi Chuxing battle for supremacy in China
Uber and Didi Chuxing battle for supremacy in China

China's homegrown answer to Uber is about to become the world's second most valuable startup.

Didi Chuxing, the ride hailing company that's now backed by more than 100 investors including Apple (AAPL, Tech30) and Chinese internet giant Alibaba (BABA, Tech30), is close to securing between $5 billion and $6 billion in fresh funds, according to a person familiar with the fund raising.

The new injection of cash would give Didi a staggering valuation of roughly $50 billion. Only one other startup -- Uber -- is worth more, according to data provider CB Insights.

Didi has tapped existing investors including Japan's SoftBank (SFTBF), China Merchants Bank (CIHHF) and a unit of China's Bank of Communications, the person said.

Silver Lake Kraftwerk, a venture set up by private equity firm Silver Lake and hedge fund billionaire George Soros, is investing in Didi for the first time, the person added.

Spokesmen for Didi and Softbank declined to comment. A spokesperson for China Merchants Bank could not be reached for comment. Silver Lake and Bank of Communications did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Related: Billion dollar startups

Uber secured a valuation of $68 billion following its last funding round last year. However, that was before the slew of negative publicity that hit the company in recent months.

Didi's new valuation includes its acquisition of Uber's China operations, which it bought last year following a fierce battle between the rivals that was losing both companies money.

Related: Uber sells its China business to big local rival

The fresh funds will be used for global expansion, driverless car technology and other advanced transportation technology, the person familiar with the fund raising said.

Didi was set up in 2015 through the merger of ride hailing apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. The company is led by Cheng Wei, the former Alibaba manager who founded Didi Dache in 2012.

Bloomberg first reported news of Didi's latest funding round.

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