Cab aggregator Ola has finally confirmed $1.1 Bn funding round led by Tencent Holdings Limited nearly eight days after reports of the fundraise first surfaced. Existing investor Softbank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors, also participated in the round.
In an official statement, the homegrown ride-sharing startup revealed that it is currently in advanced talks with other investors to close an additional $1 Bn as part of the current financing round, taking the total fundraise to over US$2 billion.
Confirming the fundraise, Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola, stated, “We are thrilled to have Tencent Holdings join us as new partners in our mission to build mobility for a billion Indians. The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move!”
Intended to thwart competition from its biggest rival Uber, Ola is looking to utilise the newly-raised funding for making strategic investments in supply, technology, and cutting-edge innovations geared towards meeting the country’s unique transportation needs.
As per the company’s spokesperson, Ola is also preparing to making investments in a number of emerging technologies, including AI and machine learning. The ultimate goal is to penetrate deeper into the Indian ride sharing market to be able to serve a larger section of the population in need of affordable and reliable commute and transportation.
Martin Lau, President of Tencent Holdings, said, “Ola’s unique local offerings are tailored to India’s burgeoning transportation needs. The strategic partnership with Ola makes it possible for Tencent to be part of the fast-growing ride-hailing space in the country. We look forward to helping Ola further develop India’s transportation solutions.”