Chinese Taxi Booking App Flags Down Funding, Alibaba Rumored to be Along For the Ride

Chinese Taxi Booking App Flags Down Funding, Alibaba Rumored to be Along For the Ride

April 11, 2013

by Steven Millward

Chinese startup Kuaidi Dache (meaning “fast taxis”) has flagged down seed funding to help the taxi-finding service grow. Centered around apps for iPhone and Android, Kuaidi Dache claims to have 300,000 users across the two cities where it operates – Shanghai and nearby Hangzhou – and covers 30,000 existing city taxi drivers. The startup sees 20,000 daily rides taken via the app.

The funding amount hasn’t been revealed, but according to Chinese tech blog 36Kr it takes the form of input from Ameba Capital’s Li Zhiguo, as well as a reported seven-digit RMB (hundreds of thousands of US dollars) investment from e-commerce company Alibaba.While the Alibaba stake isn’t confirmed officially, it wouldn’t be too surprising, since the online shopping giant has been a lot more interested in startups recently, acquiring the social music site Xiami at the beginning of this year. Plus, there are rumors that Alibaba has bought the mobile ads platform Umeng, and is thought to have ploughed money into the flirty chat app Momo. Also, there’s a nice synchronicity to Kuaidi Dache operating in Hangzhou, which is Alibaba’s hometown.

Kuaidi Dache will use the funding to bring more drivers on board – it already covers 70 percent of cabs in Hangzhou – and expand to new cities.

This particular startup has some rivals in this space, such as Yaoyao Zhaoche and Didi Dache. The latter one has been incorporated into the updated Baidu Maps mobile service; since Baidu Maps has over 80 millionusers of its smartphone apps, that should be a big boost to Didi Dache.

If you want to see how these taxi-finding apps work, check out this six-minute report from Chinese TV. The reporter tries out booking a cab via SMS and phonecalls and finds that it can be a slow and hit-and-miss affair; then, at the 4:35 mark in the report, she tries out the Kuaidi Dache app and gets a cab arriving at her feet in just five minutes.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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