Ola Looks To Build Deeper Pockets To Take On Uber
Signage for digital payment service Ola Money, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt., is displayed on the window of a taxi in Bengaluru, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Ola Looks To Build Deeper Pockets To Take On Uber

India’s largest taxi aggregator Ola is looking to raise up to $100 million from existing shareholders, months after it received $250 million from Japanese investor SoftBank Group. The board of parent company ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. approved the proposal on March 22 to raise additional funds, according to documents filled with Registrar of Companies.

Ola will issue 4.9 lakh preference shares at Rs 13,521 each in a rights issue to existing shareholders, the documents show. The $250 million raised from SoftBank will be clubbed with this and classified as one fund-raising round, taking the total amount to $350 million.

Ola didn’t immediately respond to BloombergQuint’s email seeking a comment.

China’s Didi Kuaidi, Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Steadview Capital, Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford, among others are investors in Ola.

The cab aggregator has raised a total of $1.56 billion so far, according to CrunchBase, which aggregates information on startups.

Tackling Uber’s Onslaught

Ola and Uber Technologies Inc. are currently engaged in a fierce battle for market dominance in India. The Bengaluru-based startup, founded in 2011, has a larger presence in India but faces tough competition from Uber in 28 cities.

The home-grown company had a turbulent ride over the past year with the exit of a number of senior-level executives coupled with valuation markdowns. The fresh investment could help Ola expand its base.

Japan’s SoftBank Group, one of the largest investors in Indian startups, also reported a valuation loss of 39.3 billion yen ($351 million) in two of its biggest bets in the country, Ola and e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal. Vanguard World Fund too had marked down its stake in Ola by 41 percent, bringing the cab-aggregator’s valuation down from $4.3 billion to $2.5 billion in just two months.

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