Ending months of speculation, Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia Motors have together pumped in close to $300 Million in Ola. The fundraise, as expected, is a part of a larger — $1 Billion — Series J round. This round has already seen an investment commitment of $100 Million from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal.
According to a report from ET, Uber’s south Asian rival is also in talks with Mirae Asset- Naver Asia Growth Investment for a potential investment at a valuation of $5.5-$6 billion. The deal is yet to materialize and will likely see coming to fruition soon.
As a part of the current deal, both Hyundai and Kia will partner with Ola for developing the latter’s fleet. The three will together partner for building India-specific electric vehicles and infrastructure. This is in-line with Ola’s aggressive focus on developing an all-electric taxi fleet, financial push for which, was given just last month. Both will also look at nurturing opportunities and offerings for driver partners with customized vehicles.
“Together, we will bring to market a new generation of mobility solutions, as we constantly expand our range of offerings for our consumers” said Ola co-founder Bhavish Agarwal.
Ola’s partnership with carmakers isn’t new though. The company had earlier partnered on similar terms with Mahindra, wherein the two agreed to increase the electric vehicle fleet and to provide financial benefits to driver partners. Ola’s model of partnership with carmakers is rather unique, and could well take it all way long in its long-raging battle for dominance with Uber.
Hyundai, Kia and Ola have also agreed to coordinate efforts to develop cars and specifications that reflect the needs of the ride-hailing market (both users and drivers). Data accumulated during service operation will allow the companies to make constant vehicle improvements to better meet local needs and specifications.
Hyundai on its end, is looking “accelerate its transition from a ‘car manufacturer’ into a ‘Smart Mobility Solutions Provider”. This partnership’s initiatives will allow it to engage in all aspects across the entire mobility value chain ― including vehicle production, fleet operation and mobility services.
Ola plans to create over two million livelihood opportunities in the mobility ecosystem by 2022. The company already hosts over 1.3 million partners on its platform and will further empower hundreds of thousands more, with access to tailored offerings across vehicles, financing, insurance and more, substantially bringing down the total cost of ownership for partners.
The companies will also provide better financial incentives to driver partners. These will include financial services like lease and instalment payments “This partnership will significantly benefit driver-partners on our platform, as we collaborate with Hyundai to build vehicles and solutions that enable sustainable earnings for millions of them, in the time to come” said Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Agarwal.