Leading cab aggregator Ola said it raised $1.1 billion (Rs 7,150 crore) in the latest funding round from venture firms led by Tencent Holdings Ltd, a leading Chinese internet firm. “Our investors like SoftBank and other US-based financial investors have participated in this round of funding,” said the company in a statement. Ola is also in talks with other investors to raise an additional $1 billion with new and existing investors. Ola operates in 110 cities across the country using cars, auto-rickshaws, bikes and vehicles equipped with connected car platform for ride-sharing. Also Read - Ola Cabs to start services in London from February 10; detailsAlso Read - Ola self-drive car service 'Ola Drive' kicks off in Bengaluru; 3 more cities to follow soon
But the six-year-old mobile-app hailing taxi aggregator did not disclose in the statement which funding round is the latest and how much it had raised cumulatively so far, from whom all and when, with the break-up. An Ola spokesperson, however, told IANS later that the company had raised $500 million in November 2015 from investment management firm Baillie Gifford, China’s largest taxi-hailing services firm Didi Kuaidi and its investors Falcon Edge Capital, SoftBank, DST Glob and Tiger Global. Also Read - Ola expands services in two new UK cities, taking total to nine cities
Ola will also benefit from Tencent’s expertise in the country’s mobility market. Then Mumbai-based Ola expanded its operations in March 2015 by acquiring the city-based TaxiForSure competitor for $200 million (Rs.1,200 crore) in a cash-cum-stock deal. “We will invest the fresh funding in supply, technology and innovations to build the country’s growing transportation needs,” said Ola co-founder and Chief Executive Bhavish Aggarwal on the occasion. ALSO READ:
The company will also use artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve the country’s mobility problems and offer affordable transportation. IIT-Bombay alumni Ankit Bhatia joined Aggarwal in co-founding Ola cabs in January 2011 in Mumbai as a mobile app for personal commuting in cities. The company has about 800,000 vehicles for booking online on its platform in 110 cities across the country to commute on an individual or shared basis. ALSO READ: Zomato partners Ola cabs for in-app ride booking, food ordering on Ola Play
Ola has pioneered transportation solutions to solve congestion and pollution problems with share and multimodal electric vehicles on its virtual platform. “As the transportation and mobility sectors are undergoing changes globally, we want to build a competitive system to support a nation on the move,” noted Aggarwal. Tencent President Martin Lau said as Ola’s offerings were tailored to meet the country’s transportation needs, the partnership would enable his firm to be part of the growing ride-hailing space.