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Uber’s biggest rival in China invests in an Uber rival in Singapore

August 19, 2015, 3:32 PM UTC
A smartphone shows the two apps, Kuaidi Dache -- part-owned by Alibaba -- and Didi Dache -- backed by Tencent.
Photograph by AFP/Getty Images

If it wasn’t enough of a headache for Uber when China’s two leading taxi apps merged in February to form one giant rival, that formidable rival is now investing in another, smaller rival.

GrabTaxi, based in Singapore, has scored $350 million in a Series E funding round, and the investors include Didi Kuaidi, the merged giant of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. The move comes after Didi Kuaidi raised $2 billion of its own in July, bringing its valuation to a whopping $15 billion. The company is in a turf war with Uber for China riders, and now it’s helping GrabTaxi get a leg up in the same turf war in Southeast Asia.

Kuaidi Didi’s own biggest investor, the China Investment Corporation (CIC), also invested in the GrabTaxi round. The Singaporean taxi app has now raised $680 million, according to Crunchbase.

The plausible next step in the Asian taxi wars might be for Didi Kuaidi to acquire GrabTaxi, but when TechCrunch asked GrabTaxi’s VP of marketing Cheryl Goh whether there were plans to do that, Goh said, “None at the moment.”

For now, the news is a competitive blow to Uber. The company, which carries a $50 billion+ valuation, continues to get bigger and bigger—it just raised $100 million from India’s massive Tata conglomerate—but so do its challengers.