Ola today confirmed it had raised Rs 650 crore in funding from Sachin Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart. The funding is part of Ola's larger $2 billion fundraise, which it had confirmed in January this year.
A press release from Ola quoted Sachin as saying, “Ola is one of India’s most promising consumer businesses, that is creating deep impact and lasting value for the ecosystem. On one hand, they have emerged as a global force in the mobility space and on the other, they continue to build deeper for various needs of a billion Indians through their platform, becoming a trusted household name today.”
Earlier in January, Sachin had invested Rs 150 crore in the company, and committed additional funding. He said in the statement,
“I have known Bhavish as an entrepreneur and as a friend over these years and I have great respect for what he and the team at Ola have built in just 8 years! I am personally thrilled to be part of the Ola journey and I look forward to contributing to their success.”
The Bengaluru-based ride hailing aggregator has also already raised $74 million led by Steadview Capital as part of the larger $2 billion round.
Speaking of the funding, Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola said, “We are extremely thrilled to have Sachin onboard Ola as an investor. Sachin is an icon of entrepreneurship and his experience of building one of India’s most respected businesses ground up, is unparalleled. His investment is a huge encouragement for all of us at Ola and our mission to serve a billion people. I personally look forward to learning from Sachin’s journey, his mentorship and guidance, as we look to build one of the most impactful global businesses out of India."
He added the funds raised will be deployed towards building the reach of electric vehicles, expanding and growing Foodpanda, and bringing in a stronger focus on international markets.
In December last year, Sachin, along with former investment banker Ankit Agarwal, had registered a private company - BAC Acquisitions Private Limited. While the nature of its business is unclear, BAC Acquisitions appears to be a holding company.
This year already looks like an interesting one 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 in funding led by Softbank and since then, has left no stone unturned to capture newer markets. Last year, it had forayed into international markets, starting with Australia and moving on to the UK and New Zealand.
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, is said to be serving as many as a billion rides every year through its platform.
Rival company Uber, on the other hand, filed for an IPO in December. The San-Francisco based giant confirmed its expansion plans for 2019, and said it intends to strengthen its India operations by hiring an additional 500 engineers.