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Ola raises $50 Mn, Sachin Bansal may acquire stake


Ride-hailing firm Ola has raised $50 million from Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital (SC) and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF).

The Bengaluru-based company latest investment has inched up its valuation to $4.3 billion, from $3.5-4 billion in last October.

The deal was in negotiation stage for past two months. Entrackr first broke the development last month.

The fresh investment will give SC and CEECF a stake of about 1.17% in ANI, according to RoC filings accessed by Paper.vc.

Ola aggressive expansion and business model has also been attracting new investors. Sachin Bansal, former CEO and co-founder of Flipkart, is reportedly exploring a way to buy secondary stakes in Ola.

Bansal had previously praised Ola’s co-founder and his platform for developing and making it giant firm. Bansal, after his exit from Flipkart, is planning to raise $1 billion startup-focused funds. Till date, he has invested in seven ventures with a total funding of $26 million.

Besides, existing investors Steadview Capital is also looking to raise its stake. Softbank, Tencent, Tiger Global and Matrix Partners together hold more than 60 per cent of Ola’s shares.

Apart from raising money, Ola is breaking into new markets beyond India. After Australia and UK launches, it now plans to enter the New Zealand market.

It plans to start with cities like Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. In offshore markets, Ola has been giving out a low commission rate of 9 per cent to lure more drivers on its platform. It will compete with Uber and Zoomy in New Zealand.

At present, the ride-hailing firm has been doing about 2 million rides daily. It plans to achieve profitability by the end of 2019.

Lowering commission and incentives for drivers as well as reducing discounts for riders are factors driving Ola closer towards the road of profitability.

The take-home pay for drivers dropped 33 per cent in the last one year, according to research consultancy Redseer’s report.

Ola’s operating loss has increased 32 per cent to Rs 3,731 crore in FY17 while operating revenue more than doubled to Rs 1,178 crore. Besides, its other expenses (not explained) also rose up to Rs 4,052 crore from Rs 2,422 crore.

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