Two years ago, Uber, already dominant in Brazil, considered buying a small local rival called 99. But then-Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wasn’t interested. He believed Uber could crush 99 instead.
That left an opening for Uber’s archrival, China’s Didi Chuxing, to establish a beachhead in Uber’s second largest market and to try, for the first time, to take on Uber outside of China. After investing in 99 in early 2017, Didi in January acquired the rest of the Brazilian startup at a $1 billion valuation.