In a game to control the market, which is largely being played with money, the app-based cab-hailing company Ola wants to leave no stone unturned to take on rival Uber. A day after news of Microsoft’s plan to invest around $100 million in ANI Technologies broke, the Bengaluru-based company is now in talks with Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent to raise $400 million.
“Tencent executives were in Bangalore last week and they met the Ola management team to discuss the transaction,” said a source talking to ET.
However, Ola’s plans to rope in Microsoft to participate in the current round has not yet advanced.
If the investment from Tencent materializes, this will be the fourth round of funding in the cab-hailing company this year. Since January, Ola has raised around $400 million from Softbank, Falcon Edge Capital and Tekne Capital, taking the total funding to $2.4 billion.
It will be the first time when Tencent will be investing in Ola. The successful completion of a deal will also make the Chinese conglomerate one of the most influential investors in the Indian market, with total investment of over $1 billion, in the same league as Japan’s Softbank.
Tencent is an experienced investor and also invested in other taxi app companies like China’s Didi Chuxing and US-based Lyft, besides Southeast Asian bike taxi firm Go-Jek.
According to reports, the entry of Tencent will be pivotal for Ola as the company would be able to curtail the influence of its largest shareholder Softbank, which is reportedly in talks to invest in Uber.
Since early this year, Ola has been continuously changing its strategy and working hard to remain relevant in the market.
Recently, it announced ramp up of expansion of its content platform Ola Play and is pushing electric vehicles in its fleet, which will be the two major differentiators from its rival business Uber.