Singapore state investment firm Temasek has picked a large single-digit stake in a secondary deal in India’s largest cab-hailing service Ola for about $225 million, reported The Economic Times on Wednesday.
Temasek has bought shares from some of the early investors in Ola. Besides, the investment firm is also in talks to invest more in the Indian company by subscribing to new shares, the report added. Bengaluru-based Ola had been talking to the Singapore firm to raise funds via both primary and secondary transactions for some time now.
The latest investment will enable Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal to diversify the company’s shareholder base.
Japan’s SoftBank is a common shareholder in both Ola and American ride-hailing company Uber Technologies. Both the firms have been locked in a fierce battle for a bigger piece of India’s $12 billion taxi market.
The development comes a day after Ola announced its UK entry to take on bigger rival Uber in markets outside India. The firm has obtained licences to operate in South Wales and Greater Manchester, and will also launch operations in South Wales within the next month.
Some employees of Ola are also expected to sell some of their shares as a part of the current round in addition to angel investor Rehan Yar Khan and VC investors who received shares in Ola after its acquisition of Taxiforsure in 2015. These investors include venture firms Accel India, Bessemer Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners and the Taxiforsure founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G, who are making a partial exit, as ET reported in February, the report said.
Last month, Temasek had bought shares worth at least $30 million from former and early employees of cab-hailing service Ola, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, as part of a secondary share sale, Mint reported quoting sources. Temasek reportedly bought the shares at a valuation of between $2.5-3 billion.
Ola, which is among India’s most well-funded start-ups, raised $1.1 billion in fresh funding from Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings and SoftBank in October last year. The firm is currently in talks with new and existing investors to raise at least another $1 billion. Since inception in 2011, Ola has raised roughly $2.5 billion in funds.
Ola’s operating loss increased 32% to Rs 3,731 crore in fiscal 2017 while operating revenue more than doubled to Rs 1,178 crore.