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Ola raises $300M from Hyundai and Kia, to work on fleet mobility and EV infrastructure

Ola has raised $300 million from South Korean car makers Hyundai Motor Group and Kia, it said in a statement. Ola has also signed partnerships with Hyundai and Kia where the three will work on becoming a “Smart Mobility Solutions Provider”, develop fleet and mobility solutions and work on India-specific electric vehicles (EVs) and infrastructure. Through the partnership, Ola will use data from service operations to improve its vehicles and meet local needs. It will offer Ola drivers financial services like lease and install payments, vehicle maintenance and repair services, without specifying how. Ola aims to create 2 million jobs by 2022, up by 700,000 from the current 1.3 million drivers it has.

Earlier this month, Mint reported that Ola was talking to Indian car makers to get custom electric and connected “Special Purpose Vehicles.” It is unclear which companies Ola was talking to, and whether this development is connected with its fundraise and tie up with Hyundai and Kia. Ola also has a strategic tie up with Mahindra & Mahindra, which manufactures electric cars in India.

As of December 2018, Hyundai had a 16.4% market share in the country, while Kia, which hasn’t released any cars in India yet, is targeting a 6-7% market share by 2021. Kia also planned to launch 25 EVs worldwide by 2025.

Ola Electric’s fundraise

Note that earlier this month, Ola’s Electric Mobility arm raised Rs 400 crore led by investors Tiger Global, Matrix India and other unnamed investors. Ola Electric is an independent company (under Ola) headed by Anand Shah and Ankit Jain and aims to have 1 million EVs in India by 2022. It is currently piloting EVs and charging solutions like battery swap stations and 2 and 3 wheeler services. The company is focused on the commercial EV segment, and claims to have partnered with OEMs and battery makers.

In September 2018, transport minister Nitin Gadkari said that India aimed to have 15% EVs on the rod, of the total vehicles, to address pollution.

Ola’s recent funding

  • Last month, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal invested Rs 650 crore in Ola in a Series J round.
  • In January, Ola raised $74 million from Steadview Capital in a Series J round, reportedly valuing the company between $5.5-$6 billion.
  • The company had last raised Rs 14.1 crore from Chinese company Eternal Yield International.
  • Prior to that, Ola raised $50 million in September 2018 from Sailing Capital (Hong Kong) and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund.

Also read: What Ola needs to consider when getting into the electric car segment

Uber and EVs

In November 2017, Uber partnered with Mahindra & Mahindra to rollout EVs in India, starting with Delhi and Hyderabad. At that time, it said that hundreds of Mahindra’s e2oPlus hatch and the eVerito sedans would be available as cabs to riders in these two cities, followed by other cities soon.

However, in October 2018, Uber hit ‘last mile issues’ with this partnership to roll out EVs. Pradeep Parameswaran, Uber’s president for India and south Asia, said that the EVs would be rolled out on its platform in a few months, after a delay of at least 6 months.

In January this year, Uber said that it would continue investing in Uber Eats and the electric vehicles business, and high-potential markets such as India and the Middle East.

Edit: This story has been updated with Uber’s EV information.

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