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Ola in talks with Naspers to raise funds at $8 billion valuation


Indian cab-hailing firm Ola is in talks with Naspers LLC to raise next round of funds at double valuation.

The ride-hailing firm is looking to raise $1 billion. It has been in talks with Naspers to raise funds at $8 billion valuation, which is almost double its current valuation $4.3 billion, according to people close to the development.

Ola has already been in talks with Temasek Holding and two other investors to raise fresh capital to fight off its rival Uber. The ride-hailing firm is looking to raise money from new investors to reduce the power of its largest investor SoftBank.

Last week, the Bengaluru-based firm raised $50 million from Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital (SC) and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF). Two days ago, it also raised Rs 50 crore from its parent entity ANI Technologies.

Flipkart former CEO Sachin Bansal is also planning to invest in Ola. Besides, existing investors Steadview Capital is also looking to raise its stake. Currently, Softbank, Tencent, Tiger Global and Matrix Partners together hold more than 60 per cent of Ola’s shares.

The recent funding has enabled the ride-hailing firm go aggressive in executive its expansion plan. After starting its operation in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, on Saturday it kicked off services in the Netherlands. In International markets, Bhavish Agarwal-led firm has been giving out a low commission rate of 9 per cent to lure more drivers on its platform.

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.

In FY17, Ola’s operating loss had increased 32 per cent to Rs 3,731 crore while operating revenue more than doubled to Rs 1,178 crore.

The development was first reported by Mint.

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