Cab hailing platform Ola is set to unveil a new connected car project through a strategic partnership with software major Microsoft, which will also include Microsoft pumping in around $200 million into Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd., two people are of the deal told Mint requesting anonymity.
News agency PTI first reported the development on Tuesday afternoon. Microsoft will also acquire around 5% equity in ANI with the current investment, said the second person close the company’s fundraise talks.
Additionally, Bengaluru-based Ola is also expected to launch a new connected vehicle project which will include software and hardware solutions addressing the emerging mobility segment, according to the same person quoted above.
“The (Ola-Microsoft) partnership will include cloud solutions, a connected vehicles product, and deep tech capabilities focused on future mobility solutions. The tech will also have direct implications with Ola Electric as well,” the person added asking not to be named.
Ola’s proposed connected vehicles project is also an extension of the initial tie-up with Microsoft that was announced in November 2017, the second person added. In 2017, Ola said that it would become a connected car solutions supplier to auto companies worldwide. As part of the partnership, Microsoft would become the default cloud services provider to Ola wherein the cab-hailing platform would also use Microsoft Azure for Ola Play, which is Ola’s existing connected car service.
Ola’s efforts to break into mobility tech solutions is also seen as a competitive response to Uber which is also currently developing its own electric vehicles fleets along with a self-drive car project which has already begun piloting tests in the US market.
In March this year, Ola had raised $300 million from both Hyundai Motor Company and KIA Motors Corporations. At that time Ola mentioned in a statement that the three companies would build electric vehicles infrastructure exclusively for India market.
“But the problem is today, manufacturer controlled fleets are also part of platforms like Bounce, VOGO, and Zoomcar. Bonce is a direct competition for Ola, and Bounce themselves are also developing a similar connected vehicles technology,” added Kolla.
This article was first published on livemint.com.