Singapore–based Temasek Holdings has purchased a ‘large single digit’ stake in Ola cabs for about $225 million, according to an Economic Times report citing people aware of the development. Temasek purchased the stake from a group of early investors in Ola, per the ET report. This, despite Temasek also currently negotiating with Ola’s management to invest more money in the cab aggregator by way of subscription to new shares.
The ET report went on to claim that, as a part of this round of funding, some employees of Ola, along with angel investor Rehan Yar Khan and others are expected to sell their shares in the company.
The investment will not just enable Ola to diversify the company’s shareholder base, but also have onboard a backer that can bring more funds in the company, the report added. MediaNama reached out to Ola for a comment on the matter, however, there was no response from the company till the time of the publication.
The development comes months after media reports claimed that Ola was in discussions with Temasek and other investors to raise about $1 billion. At the time, Ola was reportedly expected to be valued between $6–7 billion. Ola was last valued also at around $7 billion, in October 2017.
—In October last year, the company raised $1.1 billion led by Tencent Holdings Limited. Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors also participated in this round.
—Ola raised $36 million (Rs 231 crore) from New York’s Tekne Capital Management in August 2017. Two months before that, It had raised $50 million from Tekne in June.
—In May 2017, 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.
—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.
Ola’s recent moves
MediaNama reported yesterday that Ola will begin its operations in the UK next month, after having obtained licenses for South Wales and Greater Manchester. Earlier this year, Ola commenced its services in Australia, where it now operates in seven major cities. Besides that Ola has been looking at expansion in other counties such as New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and has teams in Dhaka and Colombo. However, its teams in Sri Lanka attracted trouble, as the company has already been accused of “commercial espionage” by local competitor PickMe. On the domestic front, last month, the company announced that it has re-branded its credit/postpaid payment service called Ola Credit and will now be called as Ola Money Postpaid. While in April, Ola acquired the Mumbai-based public transport ticketing and commuting service Ridlr in an all-stock deal.