ola, uber

India’s biggest app-based cab service is getting big money, yet again. The upstart has today confirmed that it has raised $500 million in a Series F round of funding from Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group, DST Global and Didi Kuaidi.

The amount of money raised in this round will be used to further accelerate the growth in the Indian market while the company will focus on building mobility for a billion people. This funding, will take the total amount raised by Ola close to $800 Million, this year alone. Earlier in February, Ola was speculated to have completed its $315Mn Series E round with investment from DST Global.

While the investment is huge — primarily due to the sheer amount of money raised, it also has a lot of other interesting insights to it, which narrate how rapidly influencing India’s startup ecosystem has become in the global investment scene.

Softbank and Tiger Global for example, have come together for Ola’s Series F round, which is rare — knowing the kind of rivalry these two firms have. Secondly, the round also confirms China’s Didi Kuaidi’s investment into Ola —  a part of its strategic investment cycles across the globe (Lyft in the US) to tackle Uber’s ever-growing market share and funding amount ($7 Bn till date).

In the last one year, Ola claims to have grown by more than 30 times. It is witnessing over a million booking requests in a day, which it accomodates with its 3,50,000 vehicles across 102 cities in India.

The company will also continue to focus on building and nurturing the ecosystem for its driver-entrepreneurs and to enable more drivers to grow as entrepreneurs themselves, in the time to come.

Commenting on the latest funding round, Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO, Ola said,

As we pursue our mission to build mobility for a billion people, we are excited about bringing onboard partners who can help us get there faster. We will continue to build for the local market through innovative solutions like Ola Share, Ola Prime and Ola Money, as we grow the mobile ecosystem in India.

Ola claims a lot of firsts as compared to its fiercest rival in India, Uber. Unlike its competitor, Ola is offering different types of transportation including Kaali-Peeli taxis in Mumbai, Auto-rickshaws in 6 cities, Yellow Taxis in Kolkata and Ola Share (beta) in Bangalore.

With the current round of funding, the company has raised over $1.3 billion of external funding, of which over $1.2 billion has been raised over the past year. In April 2015, the company had raised $400 million of funding led by DST Global in Series E. Ola’s investors include Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Accel Partners US and Falcon Edge.

Recently, the company launched a dedicated mobile application for Ola Money, its online wallet for virtual money payment. Like every other wallet service, Ola Money’s app can be used for mobile phone recharge across all mobile operators as well as to send money to friends and family — a service launched with an ambition of growing a more diversified business.

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