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Ola’s losses accumulate to Rs 17,453 Cr as revenue shrinks 63% in FY21


Transportation business was hit hard by the pandemic globally and it had strangulated growth and revenue for the ride-hailing major Uber India and Ola. Uber suffered over 47% decline in operating revenue in FY21, but Ola’s collections also faced a much higher erosion of 63%, amounting to Rs 983.2 crore during the fiscal ended in March 2021.

During the preceding fiscal(FY20), its operating revenue had grown 4.7% YoY to Rs 2662.63 crore, according to the company’s annual financial statement with the RoC. 

OlaRide-hailing was the largest operating segment for the Bengaluru based company, accounting for 90% of the revenue during FY21. This segment suffered enormously: it saw a 57.8% drop in collections, reducing to Rs 884.3 crore in FY21 as compared to Rs 2,096.1 crore in FY20.

The company also collects lease rentals from drivers on its platform who lease out the cars from Ola’s own fleet of vehicles. Revenue from this segment also saw a significant decline, dropping by a whopping 93.2% YoY to Rs 33.3 crore in FY21.

OlaIts cloud kitchen and financial services business collectively generated Rs 65.6 crore in FY21. 

The infographic shows how Ola’s operating segments fared during the pandemic hit financial year (FY21).

Ola made a loss of Rs 982 cr on ride-hailing and cab-leasing business

Ola lost Rs 328 crore on its ride-hailing business and Rs 653.5 crore on the cab-leasing segment during FY21. The financial services and cloud kitchen segment also lost Rs 48.3 crore and Rs 77.4 crore respectively during the same period.

Employee benefits payments made up nearly 22% of Ola’s annual costs and there has been a downturn in these expenses over the last three years. The company had laid off over 1,400 employees in FY21 and its employee costs were reduced by 27.4% YoY to Rs 436.3 crore in the last fiscal (FY21). These expenses had dropped by 20.55% to Rs 600.8 crore in FY20.

Ola’s marketing spend shrank 72% in FY21

Ola has put in place cost reduction measures to control the cash burn and marketing spend was one cost centre where these measures are clearly visible. Ola’s expenditure on advertising and promotion contracted by 72.1% to Rs 135.4 crore in FY21 from Rs 485 crore spent in FY20. Information technology expenses also reduced by 26.4% YoY to Rs 196.3 crore in FY21.


As mentioned earlier, the company’s fleet operations were curtailed during FY21 and resulted in heavy losses for the company. Ola’s vehicle running expenses were also reduced by 96.2% to only Rs 9.33 crore during FY21.

Finance and depreciation costs make a large part of Ola’s expenses sheet due to vehicle loans and booking of depreciation on its fleet of cars. These costs formed nearly 27% of annual costs and stood at Rs 538.1 crore in FY21 

The curious case of “Miscellaneous Expenses”

Importantly the company booked “Miscellaneous Expenses” of Rs 428.2 crore in FY21 Rs 2,116.84 cr in FY20 and Rs 2,363.7 crore in FY19. These mostly constituted driver-related payments, cost of stock options given to certain shareholders and manpower expenses incurred by the company. 

Fintrackr could not get further details related to this line item due to discrepancies in Ola’s annual financial statements with the RoC and the company refused to provide further details regarding these miscellaneous expenses.

Ola’s annual burn was reduced by 60.3% YoY to Rs 2007.1 crore during FY21 primarily due to the reduced scale of operations during the pandemic hit year. Annual losses were also reduced by 49.4% YoY to Rs 1,116.6 crore during FY21 while EBITDA margins stood -21.17% for the same period. 

Bottomline: Ola’s outstanding losses stood at Rs 17,453 Cr

While the company is looking to improve its margins before its much-awaited initial public offering (IPO), all of its operating segments continue to lose money despite austerity measures and its balance sheet sported colossal outstanding losses amounting to Rs 17,452.61 crore as of 31st March 2021.

The company is set to make its debut in the public market by the end of FY22, but it’s still to hit profitability in any segment. The financial performance of Ola is far from being healthy in its 10th year of operations. Since the company had claimed to surpass pre-covid peak in September, its collection may improve in FY22. The company also forayed into the used car retailing segment in the ongoing fiscal and this could potentially help improve revenue figures.

The standalone balance sheet of ANI Technologies sported EBITDA of Rs 89.82 crore during FY21 before considering an “exceptional expense” of Rs 1,402.4 crore. These were the loans provided to other supporting subsidiaries of ANI during the year which are now being written off. The company has written off Rs 2,309.3 crore in the last two years as “exceptional expenses”.

That said, given that Ola’s co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal has been prioritising Ola Electric (they launched a massive manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu), it’s unclear whether the company’s decade-old business (ride-hailing) may grow as significantly in FY22 as it did in the past. 

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Ola’s losses accumulate to Rs 17,453 Cr as revenue shrinks 63% in FY21

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