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Ola raises $1.1 Bn from Tencent, Softbank, in talks for another $1 Bn funding


A week later, after the news leaked in media about Ola raising $2 billion in another round of funding, the cab-hailing company has today announced that it has closed $1.1 billion in fresh financing by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and existing investor Japan’s SoftBank.

Ola aims to focus on the leasing business and increase the number of drivers attached to this platform. It also plans deeper investments in technology, primarily in data sciences and electric vehicle infrastructure.

“Ola’s unique local offerings are tailored to India’s burgeoning transportation needs. The strategic partnership with Ola makes it possible for Tencent to be part of the fast-growing ride-hailing space in the country,” said Martin Lau, President of Tencent Holdings.

Besides, the Bengaluru-based startup is also in advanced talks with existing as well other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round taking the total fund to over $2 billion.

The round will give Ola a post-money valuation of over $4 billion. According to Ola, the existing investor SoftBank, besides “other new US-based financial investors” have participated in this round. However, the company didn’t disclose the name of the new financial investors.

Softbank is the largest shareholder in the ride-hailing company owning over a third of the company. Besides, it is also eyeing a large stake in its investee’s major rival Uber. Experts believe that entry of a large investor like Tencent is expected to counter the influence of Softbank in Ola.

Ola had raised $250 million from Softbank in November 2016 and had then got the commitment for another round of funding from them.

This year, the cab-hailing company had raised about $150 million from Ratan Tata’s venture fund RNT Capital Advisors, US hedge fund Falcon Edge, and New York-based hedge fund Tekne Capital Management.

Last week, Economic Times reported that Tencent has invested $400 million Ola in a deal that will take the total capital mobilised by the company in the last 12 months to $800 million. However, the company did not make any public announcement about the funding.

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