Bengaluru-based ride-hailing company, Ola has finally confirmed investment from Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal. In a statement released today, Ola announced that Sachin has led an investment of $92 Mn (INR 650 Cr.) in the company.
Bhavish Aggarwal, cofounder and CEO, Ola said, “We are extremely thrilled to have Sachin onboard Ola as an investor. Sachin is an icon of entrepreneurship and his experience of building one of India’s most respected businesses ground up, is unparalleled. His investment is a huge encouragement for all of us at Ola and our mission to serve a billion people.”
The investment, which is part of Ola’s ongoing Series J funding round, is the largest investment by an individual in Ola till date. Cofounded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2011, Ola is currently looking to raise capital from sources other than SoftBank, its largest institutional stake holder, to prevent the Japanese conglomerate from taking over the ride hailing company.
Earlier in January, a Ministry of Corporate Affairs filing showed that Bansal had made an investment of $21 Mn in the company. At the time company sources had told Inc42 that the investment would be part of a larger $91 Mn funding by the Flipkart cofounder.
After Sachin Bansal’s investment, total funding in Ola’s ongoing Series J round has now risen to about $166 Mn. The company had earlier raised $74 Mn (INR 520 Cr) from its existing investor, a Hong Kong-and London-based hedge fund, Steadview Capital, through preference shares at a subscription price of $301 (INR 21,250) per preference share, according to a company filing accessed by Inc42.
Commenting on the investment, Sachin Bansal, said, “Ola is one of India’s most promising consumer businesses. On one hand, they have emerged as a global force in the mobility space and on the other, they continue to build deeper for various needs of a billion Indians through their platform, becoming a trusted household name today.
The Ola funding represents his most prominent and largest investment to date, and his first major deal since he left Flipkart following its sale to Walmart for $16 billion last year.
Sachin Bansal left Flipkart $1 Bn (INR 6,955 Cr) richer. He has recently acquired two residential properties worth $6.39 Mn (INR 45 Cr) in Bengaluru. Bansal also recently started a new venture, BAC Acquisitions Pvt Ltd along with a friend and former investment banker Ankit Agarwal. Further, there is speculation about Bansal investing $50–100 Mn (INR 347 Cr- 695 Cr) in an electric vehicle startup Ather Energy.
Meanwhile Ola has been busy expanding globally in the last one year. In 2018 the company launched its operations in Australia, UK, and New Zealand. The company also reportedly set up teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Colombo, Sri Lanka.