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Breaking: Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi files for US IPO

Company didn’t disclose many details or timing in initial filing

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi has filed paperwork with the SEC for an IPO on a major U.S. stock exchange. (Photo: Markus Winkler/ Pexels)

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi has filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering (IPO) on either the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DIDI, the company said in a Form F-1.

The form didn’t disclose the number of shares, value of those shares or how much money the company plans to raise through the IPO. Goldman Sachs of Asia, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and China Renaissance are listed as underwriters.

According to Crunchbase, since its founding in 2012, Didi has raised $23.2 billion.

Didi operates in 15 countries and said it had 493 million active users in Q1 2021 and 15 million active drivers. The company reported a $1.7 billion loss on $21.6 billion in revenue in 2020. In the SEC filing, Didi said it had 5.2 million bikes, 2 million electric bikes and 1 million-plus electric vehicles operating in China, accounting for 38% of all electric miles driven in the country last year.

In a Founder’s Letter provided with the documents, the company’s founders reflected on the early days of the company.

“People are constantly on the move. But doing so is increasingly stressful and expensive, especially in big cities. We experienced firsthand just how trapped you can feel when you don’t have easy access to transportation. We started Didi because we believed that if we could all count on being able to find a convenient, comfortable and affordable ride — anytime, anywhere — life would be so much better,” they wrote.

As the company grew, it expanded into other areas, including intra-city freight, community group buying and food delivery.

Didi is backed by SoftBank Corp., Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings. Uber holds a 12.8% stake in Didi. 

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].