Booking Holdings pumps half a billion into Didi Chuxing
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Booking Holdings pumps half a billion into Didi Chuxing

Didi Chuxing is China’s largest ride-haling company – and Booking Holdings wants a piece of it. Booking, a giant in the travel world formerly known as Priceline, has invested $500 million into the business, leading the two companies to collaborate strategically. Now, Booking’s customers can purchase on-demand car services (provided by Didi) directly through the company’s app. And Didi’s customers will be able to book hotels through Booking (and its sister site Agoda) in a similar manner.

Booking’s share price has appreciated by 9% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

The deal isn’t about money – Didi has been pretty up-front about its success in previous funding rounds leaving it with a multi-billion dollar balance sheet. Rather, it’s about strategic integration – and the companies’ apps might just be the first step.

A major area where Booking can held Didi is in the latter’s push at an overseas expansion. Didi has launched in Mexico, Australia, and Taiwan this year, it’s acquired a local ride-hailing company in Brazil (99), and announced that it’s getting ready to go into Japan. Booking operates multiple platforms (Kayak, Priceline.com, Rentacars.com, OpenTable, and more) and has a presence pretty much everywhere. That could make it very valuable indeed. And in return, of course, Booking gets a world-class ride-hailing service to add into its platforms.

Stephen Zhu, Didi’s vice president of strategy, made the following statement over the partnership: “Building on its leadership and expertise in the global online travel market, Booking is championing a digital revolution of travel experience. We look forward to seamlessly connecting every segment of the journey and improving everyone’s traveling experience through more collaborative innovation with the Booking brands on product, technology and market development.”

Disclosure
Dominion holds Booking Holdings in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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