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Ola Raises $250 Million In Fresh Funds From Investor SoftBank

In a market where Ola and Uber are fighting for market dominance, the fresh investment will help Ola.

Published
Business
2 min read
India’s largest ride-hailing startup Ola raised $250 million in fresh funding from Japanese investor SoftBank. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/<a href="https://twitter.com/Olacabs">@<b>Olacabs</b></a>)

India’s largest ride-hailing startup Ola raised $250 million in fresh funding from Japanese investor SoftBank Group as the cab aggregator looks to maintain its lead over rival Uber Technologies Inc.

SoftBank has invested through SIMI Pacific Pte Ltd, an affiliate of SoftBank Internet and Media Inc, documents filed with Registrar of Companies show.

Bloomberg had reported in November that Ola is looking to raise fresh funds at a 40 percent lower valuation. Ola didn’t immediately respond to BloombergQuint’s email seeking a comment on the fund-raise.

Earlier this week, Flipkart went for a down round or raised capital at a lower valuation than its last fund-raise. It raised $1.4 billion from Tencent Holdings, Microsoft Corp and eBay Inc, valuing the company at $11.6 billion, lower than over $15 billion dollars when it raised funds in 2015.

Much-Needed Fuel

Ola and Uber Technologies Inc are fighting for market dominance in the country. The fresh investment will help Ola expand its base.

Ola had last raised $500 million in November 2015 from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford and China’s Didi Kuaidi, besides some existing investors including SoftBank Group. Prior to the latest round, it had raised a total of $1.2 billion, according to CrunchBase, which aggregates information on startups.

The Bengaluru-based startup, founded in 2011, covers 102 cities in the country compared to Uber’s 28, and has registered 500,000 vehicles on its platform. It also offers a wider range of vehicle options than Uber.

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Ola has seen a spate of senior-level exits, coupled with markdowns by its investors. Japan’s SoftBank Group, one of the largest investors in Indian startups, has 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.

(This story was originally published on BloombergQuint.)

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