/LeTV acquires controlling stake in Uber’s rival Yidao, valuated at 1B USD

LeTV acquires controlling stake in Uber’s rival Yidao, valuated at 1B USD

Rhea Liu

LeTV announced today that it has officially acquired 70% of Yidao Yongche and is now a controlling stakeholder. According to Reuters, the investment is likely to be about 700 million USD but the exact amount is yet to be confirmed from LeTV.

After this investment, Yidao Yongche will still be led by Zhou Hang, its acting CEO. According to an internal letter from Zhou, Yidao Yongche’s two primary shareholders, LeTV and Ctrip, will now support Yidao Yongche’s independent operation and potential listing plans for the future.

Yidao Yongche now covers 77 cities in China and 24 cities overseas, including New York City, Tokyo and London. It completed a USD 100 million C-series funding last September with investors GIC and Baidu. Ctrip became a primary investor in December 2013.

Its main competitors each finished a new round of funding in September. Didi Kuaidi raised USD three billion; Uber China raised USD 1.2 billion; and, UCAR raised USD 550 million.

According to CNIT-Research, at the end of June, Yidao Yongche had 6.3% of the market in China, close to Uber’s 11.5%, but far behind Didi Kuaidi’s 80.2% of the total ride-hailing market.

LeTV describes this investment as “an important step” in the development of its Supercar. LeTV has partnered up with China’s BAIC Motor Corporation, one of China’s leading electric car manufacturers, and British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin to develop its Supercar. LeTV also invested in Dianzhuang, a charging station producer, in September.