SoftBank pumps in $100M in Brazilian ride-sharing company 99

Brazilian ride-hailing app 99 has raised $100 million from Japanese multinational SoftBank, which has also invested previously in Chinese ride sharing firm Didi Chuxing. According to the Brazilian company, the new fund will be used to expand its reach in Latin America. Founded in 2012, 99 was formerly known as 99Taxi, and it provides taxi-hailing and ride-sharing services in about 400 Brazilian cities. It is reportedly the country’s largest ride-hailing company, with 200,000 drivers and 14 million registered users. Earlier this year, 99 bagged a big bet in excess of $100 million from Didi Chuxing, helping the latter to expand overseas. With this latest investment, along with the $100 million raised in January, 99 has bagged more than $200 million, which is the largest investment round ever recorded by a Brazilian startup. SoftBank is also a major investor in the ridesharing space, including Ola and Grab, rideshare platforms in India and Southeast Asia, respectively.
“We see strong growth and a great outlook for the mobility solutions sector in Latin America. The 99 team has made impressive progress in Brazil, now operating in more than 400 cities and bringing positive changes to millions of users. We are committed to supporting local champions like 99, and look forward to participating in their long-term success,” said David Thévenon, Managing Director, SoftBank.
The startup plans to spend the new incoming funds on expanding its peer-to-peer ride-sharing service, called 99POP, to more countries in Latin America. Part of this investment will also be directed to 99CORP, the transportation solution for 99 companies.
“Since DiDi’s investment, 99POP weekly rides have grown tenfold. Our strategy is clearly bringing results and we are excited to have SoftBank as an investor. This investment is another strong indication of our leading position in the growth of e-hailing services in the region,” said Peter Fernandez, CEO, 99.

Abhinav Mohapatra

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