GIC participates in taxi aggregator Ola’s $400m Series E round

An Ola cab

The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC)the sovereign wealth fund of the city state, was among the investors that participated in the $400 million Series E round of Bangalore-based Taxi aggregator Ola.

The round was led by Russian investment firm DST Global and the consortium also included Falcon Edge Capital, alongside SoftBank, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners US the existing investors, and the deal values the company at at about $2.5 billion.

that participated as well. Apart from the investment in Ola, GIC has also invested in Indian e-commerce venture Flipkart along with DST.

Founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola provides point-to-point services within the city, hour-based rental services and bookings for outstation travel. Currently, Ola maintains a network of 70,000 cabs and 30,000 auto-rickshaws, in addition to an estimated 15,000 cabs on the TaxiForSure network, acquired by Ola in March.

Ola did not disclose the breakdown of the latest investment, but DST reportedly injected injected $185 million, acquiring a 7.6 per cent stake in Ola, becoming the fourth-largest shareholder behind SoftBank, Tiger Global and Matrix Partners.

SoftBank is believed to have put in around $90 million to retain its 26 per cent stake, while Tiger Global invested another $40 million.

Yuri Milner, founder of DST Global, who’d previously entered as an angel investors in a personal capacity, also participated in this Series E round. This latest deal results in a post-money valuation at $2.4 billion, near quadruple the valuation it received in the aftermath of Series D roundwhen SoftBank Capital invested $210 million.

According to Ola, capital will go towards entering smaller cities and technology development, with a target of achieving market presence in 200 cities by the end of 2015.

Commenting on the deal, Rahul Mehta, managing partner of DST Global, said: “Ola offers a strong value proposition for both users and drivers and is transforming personal transportation in India.”

March has seen Ola expand beyond the transport vertical, adding local food ordering-cum-delivery feature OlaCafé, which is currently in its beta stage. It aims to use cab or auto-rickshaw drivers who do not have passengers to pick-up meals from restaurants for delivery. Under this same initiative, Ola is seeking to start delivering groceries.

“DST Global, GIC and Falcon Edge have been partners in some of the leading Internet success stories globally and we are excited about having them on-board. With increasing smartphone penetration and immense growth in smaller cities and towns, we will be able to drive the benefits of this on-demand platform deeper into the lives of our customers and partners,” said Aggarwal, currently the CEO of Ola.

Related Story: GIC to acquire Shriram SEZ in Chennai for $136m: Report

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).   

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  • 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. 
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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.