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Funding spree on: Ola raises $1.1B from Tencent and others, to raise $1B more

While its rival is in distress, Cab aggregator Ola (ANI Technologies) confirmed it raised $1.1 billion led by Tencent Holdings Limited in the latest round of funding. Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors also participated in the round.

Moreover, the cab aggregator said in a statement that Ola is also in advanced talks with other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round, concluding a total raise of over $2 billion.

Ola will be using fresh capital for making investments in supply, technology, innovations, and going deeper into Indian market it said in a statement. It added that Ola will invest in technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities. Ola is currently present in 110 cities across the country with over 14 transportation categories like auto-rickshaws, bikes, and cars.

Previous funding

-Ola recently raised $36 million (Rs 231 crore) from New York’s Tekne Capital Management in August. Two months before that, It had raised $50 million from Tekne in June.

-In May, Ola raised Rs 670 crore from Ratan Tata’s venture fund RNT Capital Advisers LLP and US hedge fund Falcon Edge Capital LP. And, $250 million from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, in April.

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-In November 2015, Ola Cabs raised Series F funding worth $500 million from Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group, DST Global and China’s Didi Kuaidi.

India: Ola vs Uber and others

While Uber’s distress is not settling down globally or India for reasons like driver’s misbehavior, sexist ads, bad workplace or privacy issues , Uber is still giving Ola a tough competition in India. In May this year, Uber infused Rs 51.64 crore into its India operations.

Ola entered the market in early 2011 and had a market share of only 5-6% in the year 2012-13. The share increased to 61-62% in the year 2015-16 (till September 2015), taking the lead in September 2014. Ola’s growth in January 2015 was 75-76%, as compared to 0-1% in June 2012.

Uber, starting operations in Bangalore in August 2013, had a market share of less than 1-2% in 2013-14, which increased to 9-10% in the year 2014-15. Uber maintained the second position from March 2015 onwards.

For the six month period up to September 2015, Ola’s market share increased marginally by 2% to 3%, while Uber’s share increased by about 20%-22%. From January to September 2015, Uber’s trip size registered growth of nearly 1200%, while Ola’s growth was about 63% during the same period. Ola’s market share started to decline after Uber’s entry, to 58-59% by September 2015. Meanwhile, other global players like Grab taxi are too looking at India.

Apart from Ola and Uber neck-to-neck race, some prominent businesses are set to enter the space. Vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is also set to foray into ride-hailing and cab aggregation business, as intends to make urban electric taxis,  and plans to invest in the ride-sharing space.

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Writes about e-commerce, social media, tech and Internet ecosystem.

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