taxi

Leading on-demand taxi hailing companies Didi Kuaidi, Ola, Lyft and GrabTaxi have joined forces to give global giant Uber a run for its money.

Under this partnership, the four taxi-hailing leaders will enable international travellers to access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use in their respective countries. Through this, the firms will cover a major part of Southeast Asia, India, China and the US, starting in the first quarter of 2016.

The announcement comes a couple of months after Chinese giant Didi Kuaidi announced a similar partnership with US-based Lyft in September.

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As a part of the alliance, the taxi aggregators will have access to each others’ technology, local market knowledge and business resources. Each country will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API, aimed at travellers crossing between India, Southeast Asia, China and the US every year.

At the helm of the partnership is Didi Kuaidi, which has made investments in the other three companies over the past few months.

In August, it participated in a US$350-million funding round of GrabTaxi to become a major stakeholder in the Malaysia-based firm. During the funding announcement, both GrabTaxi Co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan and Didi Kuaidi President Jean Liu had said that the two companies would learn from each others’ experiences to leverage both markets.

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Then, in September, Didi formed a partnership with Lyft — Uber’s biggest rival in the US. As part of the deal, Didi has also invested US$100 million in Lyft.

A few days later, Didi co-invested in India-based Ola’s US$500 million funding.

Didi itself had raised US$2 billion in July this year.

Collectively, Ola, Didi, Lyft and GrabTaxi have raised over US$7 billion.

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“As Didi consolidates market leadership across all main verticals, we are now focused on applying more refined Big Data tools for in-depth product innovation to enhance user experience,” said Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi Kuaidi.

“The partnership with Lyft, GrabTaxi and Ola allows Chinese users unprecedented ease of international travel, and helps partners improve our own services leveraging each other’s technology and expertise,” he added.

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