Ola raises $300 M funding led by Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors; to focus on EV, infrastructure, and fleet management
Home-grown ride hailing giant Ola and Hyundai Motor Group on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership, where Hyundai and Kia Motor Corporation, both part of the same group, will make a combined investment of $300 million in the ride sharing platform. This is reportedly the biggest combined investment made by the group.
With this deal, Hyundai Motor Group looks to accelerate its transition from a car manufacturer to a 'Smart Mobility Solutions Provider'. With this partnership the companies will engage in all aspects of the mobility value chain such as vehicle production, mobility services, and fleet operations.
Hyundai, Ola, and Kia will now collaborate to develop unique fleets and different mobility solutions. The focus will be towards building India-specific electric vehicles and infrastructure, and also offer customised vehicles to different drive partners on Ola.
The partnership will also coordinate efforts to develop cars and other specifications that would work on the needs of the ride-hailing market for both the drivers and the users.
The data accumulated during service operation will allow the companies to make constant vehicle improvements to better meet local needs and specifications.
With this partnership, the three companies will also work on co-creating solutions to operate and manage the fleet vehicles. This will be Hyundai Group’s first foray into the industry. With this collaboration, the group will be expanding operations from automobile manufacturing and sales to complete fleet solutions.
Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola said in a press statement:
"Together, we will bring to market a new generation of mobility solutions, as we constantly expand our range of offerings for our consumers. This partnership will also 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."
The strategic investment will also provide Ola drivers different financial services like instalment payment solutions, lease, and also vehicle maintenance and repair services.
Euisun Chung, Executive Vice-Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, said in a press statement: “India is the centre piece of Hyundai Motor Group’s strategy to gain leadership in the global mobility market and our partnership with Ola will certainly accelerate our efforts to transform into a Smart Mobility Solutions Provider. Hyundai will proactively respond to market changes and persistently innovate to deliver greater value to our customers."
Ola is also bullish as the team aims to create over two million livelihood opportunities in the mobility ecosystem by 2022. The team claims to host over 1.3 million partners on its platform.
With the Rs 400 crore funding it raised, Ola Electric is currently running several pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions, including battery swapping stations, electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler services among others.
Last month, Ola had raised Rs 650 crore in funding from Sachin Bansal, Co-founder of Flipkart. In January, Sachin had invested Rs 150 crore in the company, and also committed an additional funding. The ride hailing aggregator has already raised $74 million led by Steadview Capital as part of the larger $2 billion round.
Late last month, auto major Mahindra & Mahindra entered the ride-sharing business with its electric car hailing service Glyd. Media reports said the company flagged off its first batch of 10 e-Veritos in Mumbai recently.
With this partnership, it will be interesting to see how Ola further breaks into the EV space.