Ola has done it again – it has successfully managed to raised funds. Since last November, the homegrown ride-hailing service has earned $800 million in funds from a clutch of investors. And now, comes the massive push from Japanese telecom and investment giant SoftBank. The Masayoshi Son-owned firm which is deeply invested in app-based taxi services around cross the world, has just pumped $1.1 billion into Ola funds that it would utilize in developing more cutting-edge technology, especially machine learning and AI. The funding round also saw participation from China’s Tencent and some US investors. Also Read - PUBG Mobile’s Indian version Battlegrounds Mobile India must be banned: AP MLA writes to PM ModiAlso Read - ByteDance acquires popular gaming studio Moonton to take on Tencent
The Bengaluru-based company said in a statement that it was in talks with other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round. “Ola will be making strategic investments in supply, technology, and cutting-edge innovations to build for the country s unique transportation needs,” the company stated. Ola also intends to “go deeper into the Indian market” to serve the Indians looking for” affordable and reliable commute and transportation.” ALSO READ: Mahindra and Ola to power India s first electric mass mobility ecosystem in Nagpur
At present, Ola operates in 110 cities across 14 categories, including autorickshaws and electric vehicles. “The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move,” Bhavish Aggarwal, founder-CEO of Ola, said. Ola is rumored to be scouting for entry points in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as part of its international expansion. A section of the funds would likely be directed there. ALSO READ: How to pay for your Ola cab rides via UPI
Earlier this week, Tencent invested $400 million for a 9.5 percent stake in Ola. The rising interest of giant foreign investors in Ola is because of its leadership position in the Indian cab-hailing market. While the $69-billion Uber has expanded significantly in India in the last three years, even completing 500 million trips in the country, Ola continues to be the first-choice for shared cab-riders. Ola Share and Ola Auto have exploded as budget offerings, and Ola Rentals and Ola Outstation have given customers the option to book fleet taxis as opposed to renting private cars for longer trips. SoftBank, interestingly, had hinted earlier that it could make Ola and Uber run together in India. We’re in for an interesting ride!