On 1 August 2017 Taxify and DiDi Chuxing announced a "strategic partnership". As part of the statement announcing the partnership, Taxify indicated that part of the strategic partnership agreement means that DiDi will "invest in and collaborate with Taxify to support the its growth and innovation across its diversified markets".
From the announcement, it wasn't explicit what it entailed, or whether it was an investment by DiDi into Taxify or just a partneship.
Markus Villig, CEO and Founder at Taxify.
"This investment is a bi-lateral strategic partnership that will involve collaboration in both investment and technology development," said Markus Villig, CEO and Founder of Taxify, when commenting on the announcement to iAfrikan.
Villig added that the partnership will see China's DiDi engaging Taxify in financial and technological collaboration to strengthen and support the Taxify team’s strategy. This was echoed in a DiDi statement sent to iAfrikan commenting on the partnership, "The young Taxify team has shown great passion, a clear vision and very strong execution abilities which have enabled them to expand to three continents with highly efficient operations,".
What's interesting is that Uber still holds a 20% equity stake in DiDi, something confirmed by DiDi to iAfrikan, "Yes, under the agreement for DiDi to acquire Uber China as announced last fall, Uber has a stake in DiDi,".
Does this then mean through this partnership and investment, between Taxify and DiDi, that Uber indirectly owns an equity stake in Taxify via DiDi?
This is where details are not clear, as DiDi said that details on the investment size and other financials are not being disclosed.
What is interesting though is Villig's answer to the question: Can you confirm if DiDi holds an equity stake in Taxify?
"We can not comment on that," was Villig's answer.
Make of that what you want to.
What we can confirm though is that DiDi will be putting in some money into Taxify to help it grow, whether that is for an equity stake or not is still up for speculation as neither DiDi nor Taxify's Villig would be drawn to confirm that. The partnership also extends to technology collaboration.
"We will use the funds to continue our investments into markets where we operate in – mainly Europe and Africa, where we are [the] number 2 most popular app after Uber and the only challenger," concluded Villig.