India: Ride-hailing major Ola raises $16m from new foreign investors; hires COO

Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal. Photo: Bloomberg

Indian ride-hailing major Ola, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has raised Rs 112 crore ($15.6 million) from a handful of new foreign investors, according to media reports quoting filings with the Registrar of Companies.

The funding, which is seen as part of the Uber-rival’s Series J round, is said to have been raised from Raymond S Cahnman, chairman of the trading firm TransMarket Group; New York-based philanthropists Tina and Steven Price; J3T Ventures; and investment firm Lyon Assets.

This latest filing follows news reports of Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal having invested $21 million in his first investment since his exit from Flipkart late last year. Bansal was said to be considering investing up to $100 million in the ride hailing firm. Ola recently received $74 million from existing backer Steadview Capital, pulling up its valuation to just shy of $6 billion.

In October 2017, Ola had raised $1.1 billion in fresh capital at a valuation of $3.5-4 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and existing investor SoftBank. It was also recently reported that Ola was in talks to raise an additional $1 billion.

The latest funding comes a few months after Ola raised around $50 million at a valuation of roughly $4.3 billion from Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF).

Ola has been trying to create a mammoth war chest to take on rival Uber on domestic turf, while also funding its international expansion which include Australia earlier last year, the UK in August and New Zealand in November last year.

Since its launch in 2011, Ola has raised over $2.5 billion in primary capital from a number of local and global investors.

The Bengaluru-based firm has more than halved its consolidated losses to Rs 2,842.2 crore, while growing revenue by almost 61 per cent during FY2018, as per regulatory documents.

Ola had registered a loss of Rs 4,897.8 crore in FY2016-17, PTI had earlier reported.

In a bid to strengthen its top management, Ola has also roped in former Mphasis executive Puneet Bhirani as its COO. Bhirani has also been appointed the CEO of OLA Fleet Technologies, according to his Linkedin profile.

Ola’s Chief Operating Officer Vishal Kaul had resigned from the company in May 2018, and Senior Vice President Pallav Singh had take over the position in the interim.

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Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal invests $21m in Ola, may inject more

India: Ola’s valuation skyrockets to $5.7b after fresh funding from Steadview