Everyone even half-way watching the ride-sharing wars in China had to see this one coming.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Didi Kuaidi quietly put money into Lyft’s May funding round, along with Didi’s own backers Tencent and Alibaba.
Alibaba had already been a Lyft investor, and Pando has detailed at length the strange coalition of billionaires, Asian corporates and hedge funds who are all backing the world’s major Uber competitors. There’s Softbank who is in GrabTaxi, Ola Cabs, and Didi. There’s Coatue who is in Didi, Lyft, and GrabTaxi. There’s Alibaba– and apparently, secretly Tencent– who is in Lyft and Didi. And the strangest twist yet: Didi itself is using it’s own venture capital to invest in GrabTaxi and now Lyft.
We’d said before at a minimum there was some friendly shoptalk going on between all these players who are all fighting the same enemy, and that a formal relationship had to be inevitable. Apparently, it had already happened…
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