Ola adds $74 million to its war chest in global battle with Uber

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Published: January 10, 2019 5:52:35 PM

Ola has reportedly been mopping up capital to fund its international expansions including Australia earlier last year, the UK in August and New Zealand in November late last year.

With the latest round, Ola’s total capital infusion stands at .4 billion in over 18 rounds as per deals tracker Crunchbase.

On-demand cab booking company Ola has raised over Rs 520 crore ($74 million) from Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital with the issuance of 2.45 lakh shares, according to the company’s latest documents filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, PTI reported.

The new fundraising is part of Ola’s plan to raise around $1 billion, PTI quoted sources as saying.

Homegrown Ola has been fighting for market supremacy with US-based Uber that is currently valued at a whopping $76 billion. Ola has reportedly been mopping up capital to fund its international expansions including Australia earlier last year, the UK in August and New Zealand in November late last year where Uber is already in dominating market position.

With the latest round, Ola’s total capital infusion stands at $3.4 billion in over 18 rounds as per deals tracker Crunchbase. Ola is reportedly valued between $5.5-6 billion with the new round.

The documents show that 2,45,082 fully and compulsorily convertible, cumulative ‘Series J’ preference shares are allotted to Ola’s existing investor Steadview Capital. The subscription price is 21,250 per preference share that translates into Rs 520.79 crore.

Ola had announced raised $1.1 billion in October last year from China’s Tencent and SoftBank Group while being in “advanced talks” to raise another $1 billion for over $2 billion total capital raising.

SoftBank is the common shareholder in both the companies with a significant stake. While it holds 15% stake in Uber, the stake in Ola is around 26%.

Food delivery is another area where the two companies are involved in a slugfest. While Uber launched its food ordering and delivery service UberEats in around May 2017, Ola acquired food delivery company Foodpanda in December 2017 and committed $200 million to grow this business. Zomato, Swiggy, are currently leading the restaurant discovery and food delivery market.

Uber late last year had said that it will keep investing in its food delivery, electric bikes and scooters businesses along with high-potential markets like India and the Middle East. This is despite a mammoth loss of over $1 billion the company posted in its global business in the September 2018 quarter.

For the fiscal year 2018, Uber’s India business grew rapidly to Rs Rs 21.5 crore revenue from Rs 1.04 crore in 2016-17, PTI quoted data the documents filed with Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Also, its profits shot up to Rs 19.67 lakh from just Rs 3.22 lakh in FY17. For Ola, its latest revenue figures are yet to be disclosed by the company.

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