How Didi Dache increased daily bookings by 15 times to 5 million in 77 days?

After a series of investments secured by Chinese mobile-based taxi hailing services recently, now Didi Dache has reported a 15X increase in daily bookings in just 77 days.

In early January 2014, the Beijing-based company raised $100 million in its Series C round from Tencent and Citic.

In just a few days after this deal was executed, Didi Dache integrated its service with Tencent’s WeChat online messaging system, and also enabled customers to pay via WeChat’s mobile payment service.

On January 10, 2014, Didi launched a cash discount offer for both customers and taxi drivers.

When the company launched this offer, it says it was handling about 320,000 bookings per day, covering 32 cities, with 400,000 drivers in its system, and a customer base of 22 million.

The company ran this cash discount offer till March 27, 2014. In this 77-day window, Didi varied its discounts from $0.8 (RM 5) to $3.22 (RMB 20) in various timeframe.

Since Didi Dache doesn’t take any commission cut on the taxi fare, this cash discount offer was well received both by the taxi drivers and customers.

By March 27 2014, the company claims its userbase had increased five times to 100 million, its daily booking numbers increased 15 times to 5.2 million, city coverage increased about six times to 178 cities, and the number of drivers in the system more than doubled to 900,000.

All of this was achieved by spending a total of about $230 million, this translates to a user acquisition cost of about $2.94 per user.

Didi’s competitors include Kuaidadi, Yongche, and Yaoyao Zhaoche. Recently, Kuaidadi raised $100 million investment led by Alibaba, and it also acquired Shanghai-based taxi hailing service Dahuangfeng.

Kuaidadi users can also pay for their taxi rides using Alibaba’s payment service Alipay.

Interestingly, Kuaidadi also ran a similar promotional program during the same period as Didi. We’ve reached out to Kuaidadi to get an update on the campaign results.

NB: Coin image via Shutterstock.

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Karthick Prabu

About the Writer :: Karthick Prabu

Karthick was general manager for Tnooz in Asia until September 2014.



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  1. David Litwak

    Haha I came to this page thinking “wow, how did they 15x their traffic” and then when the answer was “they raised 100 million and spent a ton of money” it was a bit disappointing . . .


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