On Wednesday, the Bengaluru-based online transportation network company Ola announced that it had raised $ 1.1 billion, or RS 7,180 crore, in its latest round of funding from investors led by China’s conglomerate, Tencent Holdings, and Japan’s Softbank Group as it ramps up its battle against San Francisco-based Uber. Moreover, the company is reportedly in advanced talks with other investors to secure an additional $1 billion as part of its current financing round, where it plans to conclude a total sum of $2 billion.
Ola’s New Funding
The funding will help Ola reinforce its position against rival Uber. The two have been locked in an intense fight for leadership in India’s $12 billion taxi market and have injected millions of dollars to attract customers with discounted rides and drivers with incentives in hopes to outperform each other.
The ride-hailing company said it would be using the money to invest in supply, technology, and cutting-edge innovations to build the country’s unique transportation needs, including in technologies like Ola Play that allows riders to choose music and stream videos. These areas include artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. In addition, it said it would also spare the funds to increase the number of its drivers and expand its presence to more cities.
Ola did not disclose its valuation in the current funding round.
Ola operates in 110 Indian cities and has a wide range of transport options including bikes, auto-rickshaws, and electric cars while Uber operates at present in 29 cities.
Tencent Holdings Limited, China’s leading internet company, is said would bring significant expertise to the transportation firm as it expands its leadership positions across the mobility market in India.
“We are thrilled to have Tencent Holdings join us as new partners in our mission to build mobility for a billion Indians. The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move,” Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO, and co-founder of Ola.
“Our new partners share our passion for building the future of transportation in India together and we look forward to learning and benefit from their global perspectives and ecosystems,” he added.
The huge financing comes months after home-grown e-commerce major Flipkart raised $1.4 billion, the single large funding round by any Indian internet firm. Currently, Flipkart is the world’s third-most funded private company.
ANI Technologies, which operates Ola, counts among its investors like SoftBank Group, Tiger Global, Sequoia India, and Accel Partners U.S. Its revenues registered a growth at Rs 758.23 crore during 2015-2016 compared to Rs 103.77 crore in the previous fiscal.
Don’t get outdated! Subscribe now to FSMNews and be the first to know the freshest news about the forex, commodities, stocks, technology and the economy.