Ola to raise $500 mn to fuel expansion

Ola

New Delhi, Sep 15 (PTI) : Taxi aggregator Ola is in talks with investors to raise over USD 500 million (about Rs 3,320 crore) to drive growth across smaller cities and compete head-on with rivals like US-based Uber and home-grown Meru.

In April this year, Ola had raised USD 400 million (about Rs 2,500 crore) from a clutch of investors led by DST Global.

According to sources, the Bengaluru-based firm is looking at raising upwards of USD 500 million in a series F round, which will value Ola at about USD 5 billion.

An announcement is expected regarding this in the next few weeks.

When contacted, an Ola spokesperson said the company does not comment on market speculations.

Yesterday, Ola introduced a cab leasing programme for drivers and said it will spend Rs 5,000 crore through a subsidiary that will enable drivers to own the cars eventually.

According to reports, the company has already secured about USD 250 million funding from Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, Softbank and others.

Ola’s rival Uber had recently announced an investment of USD one billion in India as the demand for app-based taxi-hailing services picks up in the country.

The Indian firm has previously said it clocks more than 750,000 trips a day and expects to hit the one million milestone soon. It offers services in over 100 cities.

Its other investors include Matrix Partners India, Steadview Capital and Sequoia Capital.

Ola has also been steadily investing across various programmes to grow the driver partner ecosystem.

It has also introduced services like shuttle services, expanding mobile wallet, introducing cars with WiFi and offering a cafe service on its app.

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