China's Didi Chuxing has agreed to acquire control of Brazil’s 99, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but according to Reuters (citing a report in Valor Economico, a leading financial newspaper in Brazil), the deal values 99 at $1 billion. Didi already had a minority stake in the startup, having invested $100 million over a year ago.
The acquisition intensifies Didi’s global rivalry with Uber, especially in Latin America. “Globalization is a top strategic priority for Didi,” Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi, said in a statement. “With enhanced investments in AI capabilities and smart transportation solutions, we will continue to advance the transformation of global transportation and automotive industries through diversified international operations and partnerships.”
The deal gives Didi coverage in 1,000 cities, touching more than 60 percent of the world’s population. It says it currently has 450 million users of the Didi app.
“We feel privileged to be now a single organization with an even stronger purpose: improve the transportation industry and massively impact the lives of billions of people worldwide,” said Peter Fernandez, CEO of 99, in a statement. “We are confident that being part of Didi Chuxing will vastly enhance our capability to expand our services throughout Brazil to bring critical value to users, drivers and cities.”