India: Tencent invests $400m in Uber-rival Ola

Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal (left) poses with an Ola driver. Source: Ola website

Amidst reports of Uber rival Ola raising a $2 billion round,  Chinese internet giant Tencent has invested $400 million in the  ride-hailing major, according to a report in The Economic Times.

According to a filing with the Registrar of Companies on Friday quoted in the report, Singapore-based Copper Technology Pte Ltd, an entity owned by Tencent, will take a 9.57 per cent stake in the Bengaluru-based company. Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd has issued shares to Copper Technology at Rs 13,521 apiece.

Earlier this week it was reported that Ola was raising around $2 billion from a group of investors including SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

In August, the cab aggregator reportedly had raised Rs 231.83 crore ($36.3 million) from US-based hedge fund Tekne Private Ventures.

This latest funding from Tencent, will take Ola’s funding in the last 12 months to $800 million including around  $250 million from investors like Falcon Edge, an existing investor, Rata Tata’s RNT Capital Advisors, and Tekne Capital Management.

Tencent has been looking to get a share in the lucrative Indian market. It has, so far, invested $850-900 million in Indian start-ups, including $700 million in Flipkart Ltd. Its first investment in Indian startups was in August 2015, when it led a $90 million round in digital health platform Practo Technologies Pvt. Ltd.  It has also invested messaging app Hike Ltd.

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