Ola, Uber’s biggest rival in India, has raised $1.1 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and existing investor SoftBank Group Corp. of Japan. The Bengaluru-based ride-hailing company, which has raised around $4 billion since its founding in 2010, is also in “advanced talks” with other investors for an additional $1 billion, it said in an announcement.
With the latest round of funding, Ola plans to make strategic investments in its supply chain and technology, while also making significant investments in technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Ola will also invest in increasing its fleet of vehicles and presence in Indian cities.
“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. Our new partners share our passion for building the future of transportation in India together and we look forward to learning and benefit from their global perspectives and ecosystems,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola.
The Bengaluru-based firm, which has a majority market share, is present in 110 cities through bike, auto-rickshaw and electric car offerings.
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“Ola’s unique local offerings are tailored to India’s burgeoning transportation needs. The strategic partnership with Ola makes it possible for Tencent to be part of the fast-growing ride-hailing space in the country. We look forward to helping Ola further develop India’s transportation solutions,” said Martin Lau, president of Tencent according to a press release.
Ola, which is the third-most valuable start-up in the country, has been trying to raise fresh capital since June 2016. Prior to this round, it received at least Rs 2,345 crore from SoftBank Group.
While ANI Technologies is not a publicly-traded company, according to regulatory documents, its revenues registered a stellar growth at Rs 758.23 crore during 2015-16 compared to Rs 103.77 crore in the previous financial year. However, Ola suffered a consolidated loss of over Rs 2,311 crore during that fiscal on account of heavy advertising, promotional expenses and other costs.