Ola in talks with Microsoft for $200 M funding
Ride-hailing major Ola is in advanced talks to raise about $150-200 million (about Rs 1,050-1,400 crore) in funding from tech giant Microsoft, according to sources.
The discussions are at an advanced stage and likely to be closed in the next 10-15 days, the sources privy to the development said.
Emails sent to Ola did not elicit any response, while Microsoft declined to comment.
In 2017, Ola and Microsoft had joined hands to build a new connected vehicle platform for car makers globally.
One of the sources said the two companies will continue their deep technology partnership in areas like cloud, and will also collaborate on emerging mobility technology, especially connected vehicles.
Ola - which has about 200 million riders on its platform across India, the UK, Australia and New Zealand - had recently announced setting up of a research unit in the Bay Area of the US to focus on new areas like e-vehicles and connected cars.
The ride-hailing major, which is locked in a battle for market leadership with US-based Uber in India, has raised about $3 billion in funding.
Its investors include Ratan Tata, SoftBank, Tencent Holdings, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors, Sachin Bansal and others.
The company, in September this year, had received Rs 35.8 crore in Series J round from ARK Ola Pre IPO Fund. It had allotted 16,885 shares of Rs 10 each to the entity at a premium of Rs 21,240 apiece.
Bengaluru-based Ola has been working on turning profitable as it plans to launch an IPO in the next few years.
The company more than halved its losses to Rs 2,842.2 crore, while growing its revenue by 61 per cent to Rs 2,222.6 crore in 2017-18 over the previous fiscal, as per regulatory documents.
This month, Ola also announced the launch of its self-drive car-sharing platform, Ola Drive. Ola, which currently claims to be having over 200 million subscribers, is looking to on-board over 20,000 cars by 2020. The team will also be investing $200 million for Ola Drive’s expansion.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)