Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Ola gets $1.1bn from Tencent, SoftBank; in talks for $1bn more

Ola gets $1.1bn from Tencent, SoftBank; in talks for $1bn more

The company is in advanced talks with US-based financial investors for the second tranche, which would also include funds from existing investors, a source close to the company said, declining to be identified as the talks were not yet finalised.

After raising over ₹7,172 crore, Ola says it is still in talks with other investors to raise more funding in the current round.

Ola, which rivals Uber in India, said it will be using the capital to make investments in supply, technology, and cutting edge innovations to build for the country's unique transportation needs.

Ola is now present in 110 cities across the country with over 14 categories like auto-rickshaws and bikes, as well as vehicles equipped with connected car platform for ridesharing, Ola Play.

Talking about the partnership, Ola said: "Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading Internet company in China, will bring significant expertise to Ola as it furthers its leadership position across the mobility market in India".

"Ola's unique local offerings are tailored to India's burgeoning transportation needs".

The fresh funds and the turbulence at Uber headquarters in San Francisco - founder Travis Kalanick has been forced out of the chief executive's role by investors, and former Expedia executive Dara Khosrowshahi has taken over as chief executive - have provided Ola an opportune moment to step on the gas and expand its lead on Uber. "Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move", Ola Co- Founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in the statement. The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. Ola also did not reveal the valuations at which funds were raised.

Tencent's entry could help Ola counter the influence of its largest shareholder SoftBank. The company said in 2015 that it would invest $1 billion in India that year.

Earlier, we reported that the Bangalore-based cab-hailing service provider was in talks with Tencent, among others to raise about ₹13,000 crore in a new funding round. It also plans to double down on penetration, intending to go deeper into the Indian market. Internet giant SoftBank, in what is seen as the biggest ever private investment in an Indian technology company, pumped in $2.5 billion in e-commerce major Flipkart. But Uber has been increasing the pressure with aggressive promotions. Uber has a presence in about 30 cities in India.

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