27 July 2017, India:
Bangalore-based Ola is all set to raise a whopping $400 Million funding from the Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings.
“Tencent executives were in Bangalore last week and they met the Ola management team to discuss the transaction,” one of the person who is involved in the discussion told ToI. He also said that once the funding is complete, it will value the company at $4 Billion.
“The deal with Tencent is an extension of the funding round which kicked off last year. Ola wanted to get a more strategic investor with a long-term view of the market which is where Tencent fits in,” told a person familiar with the development on the condition of anonymity.
One of India’s leading ride-hailing company Ola has been raising a few ‘top-up’ funding. It raised $50 million from Tekne Capital Management in mid-June, $100 Million from Falcon Edge Capital and Ratan Tata’s RNT Capital Advisers in May 2017. Ola raised much needed $330 Million in February 2017. It previously raised around $500 Million back in 2015 from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, China’s largest taxi aggregator Didi Chuxing and Scottish investment fund Baillie Gifford. Last week, Ola invested Rs. 100 crores in its car leasing business Ola Fleet. The SoftBank-backed Ola had invested Rs 50 crore in the unit in February this year.
Founded in November 1998, Tencent is a leading provider of Internet value added services in China. Since its establishment, Tencent has maintained steady growth under its user-oriented operating strategies.
Ola, previously know as OlaCabs was founded on 3 December 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal, currently CEO, and Ankit Bhati. As of 2017, the company has expanded to a network of more than 600,000 vehicles across 110 cities.
In November 2014, Ola diversified to incorporate autos on trial basis in Bangalore. Ola provides different types of service, ranging from economic to luxury travel. The cabs are reserved through a mobile app and the service accepts both cash and cashless payments with Ola money. It claims to clock an average of more than 150,000 bookings per day and commands 60% of the market share in India. Ola has also started on-demand auto rickshaw service on its mobile app in Bangalore, Pune and now available in 73 cities.
Meanwhile, HPE’s CEO Meg Whitman along with Nikesh Arora are considered as the frontrunners for the vacant position of CEO of Uber. The other contenders to run Uber are Susan Wojcicki of YouTube, Adam Bain, Twitter’s former chief operating officer, David Cush, a former CEO at Virgin America and Thomas Staggs, an ex-COO at Disney.