SoftBank, Legend invest $150m in Didi’s bike-sharing play Qingju: Report

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Didi Chuxing is seen at its headquarters in Beijing, China, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

SoftBank and Legend Capital have invested $150 million in Qingju, Didi Chuxing’s bike-sharing unit, marking the first time the unit raised funding from outside investors, the Information reported Monday, citing sources.

Last week, a Reuters report citing sources said that the bike-sharing unit had raised more than $1 billion in its latest round. The Information said that the unit received $850 million of that amount from Didi itself.

Both SoftBank and Didi declined to comment on a DealStreetAsia query. Legend Capital did not immediately respond to DealStreetAsia’s emailed requests for comment.

SoftBank is already a major shareholder of Didi.

SoftBank first invested in Didi Chuxing’s $4.5-billion funding round in 2016 and then made an additional investment in 2017 when it backed the Chinese firm’s $4-billion round. In March 2019, SoftBank said it would invest another $1.6 billion in Didi despite mounting losses of as much as 10.9 billion yuan in fiscal 2018.

SoftBank was also believed to be near a deal last month to lead a $300-million investment in Didi’s autonomous driving unit, according to a report by the Information, citing sources.

In general, ride-hailing companies have been hard-hit during the COVID-19 viral outbreak.

Data from Aurora Mobile in February this year showed that daily average users on Didi’s app fell more than 50 per cent over the Lunar New Year period after news of the virus emerged. The app was also suspended in a number of Chinese cities as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Bike-sharing as a business model has struggled across multiple countries. Many players have sprouted up in China only to fold. Even larger bike-sharing players, such as Ofo, have struggled. Ofo has reportedly shifted from bike-sharing to e-commerce.

 

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.