App-based taxi aggregator Ola has raised $500 million (about Rs 3,300 crore) from UK-based Baillie Gifford, China’s Didi Kuaidi and existing investors including Falcon Edge, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group and DST Global, to expand fleet and drive new services, as it ups the ante to compete with rivals such as US-based Uber and homegrown Meru.
This is Ola’s sixth round of fund-raising, and according to a source close to the deal, it has offloaded 10% stake, valuing the company at around $5 billion (Rs 33,000 crore).
Other investors in Ola include Matrix Partners, Sequoia India and Accel Partners US.
Over the past few months, Ola has introduced a host of new services, including shuttle and cab-pooling like Ola Share, introducing WiFi-cars to select users and running a cafe service on its app, Ola Cafe. Earlier this week, Ola launched a dedicated mobile app for Ola Money, which allows users to recharge cellphones and send money to friends and family.
Ola has over 350,000 vehicles registered on its platform across 102 cities in India. The company bought smaller rival TaxiForSure for $200 million in March to strengthen its market position.
“We will continue to build for the local market through innovative solutions like Ola Share, Ola Prime and Ola Money, as we grow the mobile ecosystem in India,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO, Ola.
In a statement, Ola said it has grown by over 30 times in the last one year, and now clocks over 1 million booking requests a day.