India's Ola Cabs plans $500m IPO, to appoint banks soon

India's Ola Cabs plans $500m IPO, to appoint banks soon

Visual sourced from Ola Cabs website

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola Cabs is planning an initial public offering (IPO) to raise $500 million at a company valuation of about $5 billion, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday.

SoftBank-backed Ola is India’s answer to Uber and plans to file papers for approval with the country’s market regulator within three months, said the sources, who declined to be named as the matter is confidential.

Ola declined to comment.

The company is in talks with investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citi and India’s Kotak and Axis, and plans to appoint IPO advisers within a month, said two of the sources.

Citi and Bank of America declined to comment, while the others did not respond to requests for comment.

This is Ola‘s second attempt at an IPO after a 2021 plan to raise up to $1 billion was canned.

Ola was valued at $7 billion in a 2021 fundraising, but its investors have slashed its valuation since in internal calculations. Vanguard, an Ola shareholder cut its internal valuation of Ola to $1.9 billion in February, according to a filing seen by Reuters.

Its other investors include Warburg Pincus, Temasek and Tiger Global Management.

Ola was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal, who is one of the country’s best-known startup entrepreneurs. Drawing comparisons to Tesla boss Elon Musk, he also runs a separate electric scooter maker- Ola Electric, which is India’s biggest.

Ola Electric is planning an IPO as well, and filed papers for regulatory approval last December, Reuters reported.

The cabs business has looked to cut losses and streamline operations in recent months. Its losses more than halved in the fiscal year ending 2023, while last week Ola said it is shutting down its international businesses- comprising the UK, Australia and New Zealand.


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