SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Didi Kuaidi, Chinese rival to Uber, is set to raise about $3 billion through its latest fundraising round, said two people familiar with the matter, raising the stakes between two of the world's most valuable start-ups.
The inflow of cash comes weeks after Reuters reported that U.S. challenger Uber Technologies Inc was closing a $1 billion funding round for its Chinese unit.
Didi Kuaidi, which has the largest market share of car-hailing apps in China, in July said it raised $2 billion, and that the amount may rise by another "few hundred million" due to what it said was tremendous interest from global investors.
A Didi Kuaidi spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest figure.
The funding rounds illustrate how investors are undeterred by the competition and the fact that the two companies have been bleeding cash as they subsidize rides to gain market share.
The $3 billion fundraising was first reported by Bloomberg News, which cited a person familiar with the matter as saying the round valued Didi Kuaidi at $16.5 billion.
The news comes on the eve of a speech by Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick in Beijing at Uber investor Baidu Inc's annual corporate conference.
Investors in Didi Kuaidi include Chinese Internet titans Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, both rivals of Baidu.
Investors also include sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp, Hillhouse Capital, Coatue Management, Singaporean state investor Temasek Holdings, Capital International Private Equity Fund and Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd.
(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by John Ruwitch and Christopher Cushing)