Ola, the homegrown cab-haling service provider, is now reportedly in advance talks with potential investors to raise around $100 million funding. As per the report, it is in talks with RNT Capital Advisers, a venture fund setup by Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata.
The report also suggests that the company is in talks with several other entities for the said funding round. With new funding, Ola is aiming to get an edge over its rival Uber, in the Indian market.
A person aware of the development has reported that RNT Capital is expected to lead the round with an investment of $60 million. He said that the rest of the money will come from New York-based hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital, which is an existing investor in Ola.
The new fund-raising is said to be at a valuation of $3.5 billion. If the deal goes through, Ola will see a significant boost. In November 2016, when the company raised funding, it was valued at $3 billion — the first down round for the company.
The funding will also mark the first major transaction by RNT Capital, which recently set up a $250-million corpus with University of California Investments (UC Investments) to invest in Indian companies. Ratan Tata has also personally made an investment of about Rs 1 crore in Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies.
The news about capital infusion comes at a time when the company’s market share has improved and burn rate has reduced, thanks to the company’s decision to trim incentives to drivers. Several industry estimates place the market share for Ola at around 65% with Uber holding the second slot in the taxi aggregation business.
In 2016, Ola and Uber together clocked a near four-fold increase in the number of rides compared to the previous year, according to a report by research and advisory firm RedSeer Management Consulting. The company clocked about 6 million weekly rides on an average between September and December 2016, across all its offerings – cabs, auto rickshaws and shuttle buses.
The major source of revenues for both Ola and Uber, around 70-75% – comes from their economy services including Ola Micro, Mini and UberGo, said analysts. Uber, which is one of the world’s most well financed startup, has stepped up its game in the Indian market after it sold its Chinese operations to local rival Didi Chuxing.