China's taxi app giant Didi Chuxing has announced an investment in and strategic partnership with Estonia-based Taxify.
Taxify operates in 25 cities and 18 countries in Europe, West Asia, Africa and Mexico and has more than 2.5 million users. In contrast, Didi claims more than 400 million users. And while Taxify has raised €2.5 million euros in funding, Didi has pulled in more than €10 billion.
Taxify is the latest regional ride-hailing/taxi-app/mobility player to get into bed with Didi. Earlier this year, it invested in Brazil's 99.
Details about the nature and scale of the investment are not revealed, although the release talks about "cross-regional transportation innovation" while an official mentioned "technology collaboration".
Didi is dominant in the Chinese mobility space and is using that dominance to create a global network of investments and partnerships. Last week Didi jointly led a $2.5 billion funding round for southeast Asia's Grab. In 2015 it invested in North America's Lyft and India's Ola in separate deals.
The Lyft investment also saw the launch of Rides Everywhere - a global rideshare alliance based around "interopability" of apps between members. Ola and Grab joined the alliance later the same year.
Taxify will not be part of be part of Rides Everywhere and there has been few specific references to it since the launch. But even without a dedicated brand, Didi is still the dominant player in an alliance of mobility apps with a presence in China, India, southeast Asia, North America, Brazil and now, thanks to Taxify, a further eighteen countries.
A few gaps still remain in Didi's global coverage, with the major markets of continental Europe the most lucrative. South American markets other than Brazil is another one to be filled, and while Taxify is live in some African markets, it does not have comprehensive coverage across the continent. It will also need a partner/investment in the Middle East, Russia and Australasia.
Whether its existing businesses can grow into these new markets, or whether Didi dips into its warchest and buys a presence remains to be seen. Whatever its decision, the growing global footprint of Didi will likely be one of the many areas to address for the new Uber CEO, whenever that appointment is made.