BEIJING – DiDi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-sharing giant which provides transport services similar to Uber, announced on Thursday its decision to acquire Brazil’s major equivalent application 99, with the aim of accelerating market growth in Latin America.
The acquisition, the value of which was not reported, is part of the agreement both companies reached a year ago, when DiDi invested about $100 million in the Brazilian company in exchange for holding a position on its Board of Directors and offering support and strategic advice in some business areas.
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, said in a statement that the integration of his company and Brazil’s 99 will bring “more convenient, value-added mobility services” to Latin America, adding that the success of the Brazilian ride-hailing application embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Latin American region.
Both companies will work on intelligent transport technology, offering passengers better mobility services, giving drivers new opportunities and allowing new transport technologies based on “big data” to be installed in cities, informed the Chinese company.
DiDi believes that Brazil is the fastest growing market in mobile internet usage and that this agreement is a testament to the moment of growth in the new mobility industry and the great potential the Latin American region has for innovation.
“Globalization is a top strategic priority for DiDi,” said Cheng, who also vowed to enhance the company’s investment in artificial intelligence capabilities and smart transportation solutions.
For his part, Peter Fernandez, CEO of 99, said that the two companies will now be a single organization with a stronger goal, which is to “improve the transportation industry and massively impact the lives of billions of people around worldwide.”
DiDi became a strategic partner of 99 in January 2017. Since then, both teams have worked together in various business areas such as technology, product innovation, operations and business planning.