India: Ola in talks with Softbank, others to raise up to $500m: Report

Ola Cabs. Photo: Mint

As global giant Uber turns pumps in funds and sharpens its focus on the Indian market,  domestic transport-haling firm Ola is in talks to raise up to $500 million in a fresh round of funding led by existing investor SoftBank, according to a Times of India report quoting sources.

“SoftBank is very keen on backing Ola but there are chances of a new investor coming in as well,” said a source.

After it agreed to sell its China business to bigger local rival Didi Chuxing, the US-based ride-hailing company has started to divert to India a significant portion of the $1 billion investment it had planned to make in China this year, Uber India president Amit Jain recently said.

As the market intensifies, it has become imperative for the Bengaluru-based Ola (run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) to raise new capital.

According to the Times of India report Ola has also held preliminary discussions with automobile giant General Motors, an investor in Uber’s competitor Lyft, a few months ago. GM’s CEO Mary Barra had met with Ola’s co-founder & CEO Bhavish Aggarwal in San Francisco a few months ago, but the talks with the automaker may not result in an investment in the company , sources said.

Recently, SoftBank, an existing investor in old, led a $750 million investment in Southeast Asian transport firm Grab.

“Even after Nikesh (Arora)’s departure, Masa is very bullish on Ola and is ready to lead the round. But the deal contours are not final as yet,” said a source.

Last year Ola had raised $500 million in fresh funds from investment management firm Baillie Gifford, China’s largest taxi hailing service company Didi Kuaidi and existing investors Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group and DST Global, at a reported valuation of around $5 billion.

With the last round of funding, Ola has closed over $1.3 billion of external funding, of which over $1.2 billion has been raised over the past year. In April, Ola raised $400 million led by DST Global and in October 2014 Japan’s SoftBank Group led a $210 million round into the cab aggregator.

Other investors in Ola include Matrix Partners, Steadview Capital, Sequoia India and Accel Partners US.

Also Read:

India: Ola in talks to raise up to $400m as battle with Uber grinds on

India: Ola raises $500m from China’s Didi Kuaidi, 5 others; Total funding in ride hailing firm exceeds $1.3b

Uber gears for epic battle to unseat Ola in $10b India ride-hailing market

Uber to divert part of China funds to India, after Didi Chuxing deal

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.