|A Big Deal: Didi raises $500M from Booking Holdings; Expands into Japan with SoftBank
Didi Chuxing announced that it has raised $500 million from the US company Booking Holdings, owner of multiple hospitality websites including Booking.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com, Agoda.com, Rentcars.com, and OpenTable.com.Didi will supply rides to customers of Booking’s apps around the world. In return, Booking will allow Didi users to make hotel reservations on Booking.com and Agoda, the two companies said.Based in Connecticut, Booking operates in more than 220 countries and territories. In 2017, 89% of its bookings were made outside the US. The company has been making strategic investments in key Chinese peers, including Ctrip and Meituan Dianping.
In the same week, Didi announced that it is launching a joint venture with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group to take its ride-hailing service to Japan. The new venture, Didi Mobility Japan, will test a taxi-hailing service this fall in Osaka with a plan to expand into other major cities including Kyoto, Fukuoka, and Tokyo. SoftBank is a major backer of Didi, having participated in two rounds of Didi’s fundraising last year.
Japan is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists. More than 7.3 million Chinese tourists visited Japan in 2017, a 15% increase from the previous year. For the 2020 Olympics, Japan expects to welcome 40 million tourists, about half of them from China.
Note: Didi Chuxing and Ctrip are GGV portfolio companies.
An Original: Making Sense of Pinduoduo
Pinduoduo, one of China’s fastest growing e-commerce startups, filed for an IPO on the Nasdaq under the symbol PDD, less than three years after its founding. With over 300 million active buyers and over $20 billion in annual GMV, Pinduoduo has risen to become one of China’s top three shopping apps, leveraging a “team purchase” model for its growth.
We created a detailed deck that explains how Pinduoduo works and factors that led to its rapid growth, complete with a video walk-through of Pinduoduo’s app. GGV is not an investor in Pinduoduo. This deck is for informational purposes only.
Read the deck online here and download the PDF version here.
A Big Deal: Zuoyebang Raises $350M
Leading online tutoring platform Zuoyebang (作业帮, or “homework help”) announced that it completed a new Series D funding round of $350 million from a group of investors led by Coatue Management. GGV Capital participated in the round, co-led the company’s Series B in 2016, and participated in its Series C in 2017.
Founded in 2014, Zuoyebang is an online education platform where K-12 students can upload photos of their homework questions, and the platform will analyze and match to solutions in its database. For questions without answers, students can opt to pay for virtual one-on-one sessions with teachers who partner with Zuoyebang.
Zuoyebang is currently the most popular app in China’s booming online education sector targeting K-12 students, according to iResearch. Zuoyebang says it has more than 70 million active monthly users and more than 5 million paid users, half of whom are from third-tier-or-below Chinese cities where high-quality education is less accessible.
Note: Zuoyebang is a GGV portfolio company. Click here to read an interview (in Chinese) with Zuoyebang founder Hou Jianbing and GGV’s vice president Erica Yu.