Ride hailing unicorn Ola is reportedly in talks to raise funding from Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Investment, a fund which was jointly launched by Korea-based Mirae Financial Group and internet company Naver.
Citing sources, a report said that Ola has already signed a term sheet with the investment fund. This investment deal may be a part of the company’s ongoing Series J funding round where it is expected to raise $1 Bn.
Though the financial details and the amount is yet to disclosed by the company, it has been reported that the company may raise the amount at a similar valuation of $5.5-$6 Bn (INR 39,141 – 42,700 Cr) at which it has earlier raised capital from other investors.
In order to prevent Japanese conglomerate SoftBank from purchasing more shares in the company, Ola has been looking to raise funding from other investors.
Ola founder Bhavish Agarwal has been trying to prevent SoftBank from increasing its current stake of 26% in Ola. In 2017, Ola amended its Articles of Association to include a clause that prevents SoftBank from buying more shares in Ola without the approval from the company’s founders and board.
Ola’s Series J Round
Ola’s ongoing Series J round recently raised $15.6 Mn (INR 112 Cr) from US-based investors including Raymond S Cahnman, chairman of Transmarket Group; philanthropist Tina and Steven Price; J3T Ventures and Lyon Assets.
In January Ola had raised $74 Mn (INR 520 Cr) at $5.7 Bn valuation from its existing investor, a Hong Kong-and London-based hedge fund — Steadview Capital — through preference shares.
Later, Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal also invested $21.2 Mn (INR 149.9 Cr).
The Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Investment was reportedly launched last year with an aim to focus on investing in Asia’s growing consumer internet ventures.
Speculations are also rife that the company is also in the process of raising $1.9 Mn (INR 14 Cr) via allotting preference shares to China-based electric vehicle company Eternal Yield International.
The fundraise is important for the company at a time when the company is bullish on expanding its operation in international markets. In November 2018, the company had announced its foray in New Zealand. Currently, it offers ride hailing services at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It had also launched its services in Perth, Australia in February 2018. Ola has also reportedly set up teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Colombo, Sri Lanka. Further, it also expanded its operation in Sydney.
In order to strengthen its footprint in the domestic market, Ola is also looking to diversify its offerings. Most recently, it was reported that the Bengaluru-based company had applied for the launch of NBFC as it plans to expand the short term credit it currently provides through Ola Credit/Postpaid.
As the company continues to raise funding to become profitable in FY19, Ola controlled its losses by 42% in the fiscal year which ended on March 31, 2018.
[The development was reported by ET]