China’s Didi to buy Brazil’s 99 in $1B deal to take on Latin America

China’s Didi to buy Brazil’s 99 in $1B deal to take on Latin America

Chamber Articles Category: Industry News Post Date: 01/03/18 Source: Tech Crunch By: Ingrid Lunden
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A year ago, Didi made a big move into Brazil when it laid down over $100 million to take a stake in 99, a local competitor to Uber in the app-based ride hailing market. Now, on the heels of getting a massive $4 billion investment of its own, it appears that Didi is looking to double down the Latin American region. According to several local reports, Didi is buying the Brazilian ridesharing startup, in a deal that values 99 at $1 billion.

A spokesperson for 99 said he was not authorized to talk with us but that there could be more news later. Didi did not respond to a request for comment but a source close to the company confirmed the companies were talking and “exploring options.”

What is not clear is, if this deal closes out, whether this will be an all-out acquisition or a matter of Didi taking a controlling (but not fully-acquired) share. An all-out acquisition would be an interesting, and pretty aggressive, turn for Didi, which has to date mostly focused on investing in comparable regional startups rather than buying them outright. Other ridesharing companies that Didi has invested in include Grab in Southeast Asia, and Careem in the Middle East.

To date, Didi has made only three acquisitions to grow, all in its home market of China. It’s reportedly also now also buying a bike-sharing startup in China, Bluegogo, after investing in another bike startup, Ofo. Didi has not officially announced any deal with Bluegogo. Read Full Article