Amid a nearly global lockdown and much apprehension around the Covid-19 pandemic, we reported two interesting deals in the mobility space last month.
Internet and telecoms conglomerate SoftBank was reportedly close to sealing an agreement to lead a $300m round for China-based on-demand ride hailing app Didi Chuxing. Other participants in the round were not disclosed. Much like its peers, the company is expected to be heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, as more people across the globe are instructed to stay at home and refrain from travelling.
Founded in 2012, Didi Chuxing operates a ride hailing service with more than 550 million registered users across Asia, Latin America and Australia. The app offers a range of lift options, a bike sharing service as well as automotive insurance.
Another on-demand ride provider, the Indonesia-based Gojek, which counts various corporates among its backers, closed $1.2bn in funding from undisclosed investors, thus upping its latest round to almost $3bn. The capital was added to the ongoing series F round that was backed by insurance group AIA in September last year. Other backers of the funding round included Trading group Mitsubishi Corporation and its Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance subsidiaries, payment services firm Visa and financial services provider Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).
Launched in 2010, Gojek has developed an app-based ride hailing platform that has also expanded into adjacent areas and services, including package and food delivery as mobile payment, entertainment, local services, and business management tools.
Over the past decade, we witnessed tremendous growth in the ride hailing sector – both in terms of deals count and total estimated dollars – as the GCV Analytics chart below shows. The number of deals in this space reached a peak in 2017 and 2018, with 59-60 rounds reported. The total estimated dollars hit a record $22.22bn in 2017 and have gone down since – which only is logical, as some of the major players in this space have either gone public like Uber and Lyft or been acquired like Careem.