[YS Exclusive] Ola set to raise $2 billion; will focus on EVs, Foodpanda, and international marketsSindhu Kashyap
Ola has raised $74 million funding led by Steadview Capital as a part of a larger $2 billion round. The fundraise makes it the second-highest-valued startup in India at a valuation of $6 billion.
A highly placed source in Ola has exclusively confirmed to YourStory that it is raising $2 billion in funding at a valuation of $6 billion from existing and new investors. The ride-hailing firm has already raised $74 million, led by Steadview Capital, as a part of this round. The other tranches will be announced in the coming quarters.
“The larger $2 billion funding that we are raising will be deployed towards building the reach of electric vehicles, expanding and growing Foodpanda, and bringing in a stronger focus on international markets,” the source said.
The source confirmed that Ola had aggressive plans of expanding the electric vehicle's reach across the country.
Two years after Ola, in partnership with Mahindra, launched a programme to build an electric mass mobility ecosystem in Nagpur, the firm now aims to expand this across the country. Last April, it also announced Mission: Electric, committing to place over 10,000 e-rickshaws and electric auto-rickshaws on the road in the next 12 months.
This fund raise's primary focus will be actioning this plan. Speaking of the Indian ride hailing business, the source said: “We are marching towards profitability in that sector and will soon become profitable in India.”
For Ola, 2018 was all about international expansions and a focus on Foodpanda, the Rocket Internet-backed foodtech platform it acquired in December 2017. In 2017, Ola had raised $1.2 billion funding led by Softbank and has, since then, left no stone unturned to capture newer markets. Last year it also forayed into international markets, starting with Australia and moving on to the UK and New Zealand.
According to reports and filings on paper.vc, the venture firm has received over 2,45,082 preference shares at a price of Rs 21,250 per share. With this infusion of $74 million, Steadview now has 2.61 percent stake in Ola.
Uber, Ola's rival, on the other hand, had filed for an IPO in December. The San-Francisco based giant has confirmed its expansion plans for 2019. The company also intends to strengthen its India operations by hiring an additional 500 engineers.
Ola is already present across over 11 categories in 110 cities in India and claims to have over 125 million users in the country. The team claims to have over one million driver-partners in India and, on an aggregate basis, claims to serve as many as a billion rides annually through its platform. It will be interesting to see how the two firms battle it out in India.