Ola is continuing its aggressive cash building strategy to fight off its more heavily-backed U.S. rival Uber. And as a part of that plan, India’s third most valued internet company has raised fresh $225 Million in a new round, which could go as high as $500 Million upon closing.
This comes after Livemint unearthed a few recent filings by Ola in the registrar Of Companies.
As for investors involved in this current round, this fresh cash infusion is once again led by existing investor Falcon Edge Capital. The New York-based hedge fund is joined in the latest round by Ola’s other existing investors Tiger Global Management LLC and Softbank Corp. and six other investors, as per filings at the RoC.
Once Ola closes this expected $500 Million round, ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd., the parent company that runs Ola, would have raised a massive $900 Million in totality.
The current round, while obviously less than half in value of what Uber has raised recently, still becomes extremely crucial, considering that Ola had secured a massive $200 Million from Russian Billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global less than six months back, as a part of a larger $315 Million round.
According to the RoC filing, dated 8 September, Falcon Edge is investing via an entity called FO Mauritius I Ltd (₹514.7 crore). Other major investors in this “Series H” round are Tiger Global, investing via Internet Fund III Pte Limited (₹396.9 crore), and Softbank (₹384 crore), which has invested through SIMI Pacific Pte Limited.
However, even though this round is a decent one, it will be interesting to see how Ola fights off Uber, which recently announced plans to pump in a staggering $1 Billion for its India operations, making it clear how important India is — as a market for world’s most valuable venture capital-backed tech company. Apart from that big investment, Uber has been forging numerous Government partnerships — the most recent being the one with Tamil Nadu Government — primarily to garner government backing for its operational model, something which has found little acceptance with Governments across the world.
This will be –for sure — an interesting battle to watch out for. And despite heavy war chest, Uber is still pretty much behind Ola in terms of market share. Ola commands a massive 80% market share of India’s app-based taxi market. Uber claims to be growing 40% month-on-month in India and expects to clock more than one million daily rides by the end of the current fiscal.