Ola Electric Mobility turns unicorn with $250 million funding from SoftBank

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Updated: July 2, 2019 2:52:15 PM

Ola Electric Mobility has raised the amount through SoftBank’s Cayman Islands-based SB Topaz (Cayman) Limited allotting latter 4,326 Series B compulsory convertible preference shares

SoftBank has acquired a 25 per cent stake in Ola Electric Mobility. (Image: Bloomberg)

Cab-hailing giant Ola’s electric vehicle arm Ola Electric Mobility has raised $250 million (Rs 1,725 crore) in its Series B round of funding from SoftBank valuing the company at $1 billion. The company has raised the amount through SoftBank’s Cayman Islands-based SB Topaz (Cayman) Limited allotting latter 4,326 Series B compulsory convertible preference shares, as per regulatory filings sourced from business signals platform Paper.vc.

The spokesperson at Ola Electric Mobility declined to comment on the development.

“SoftBank has acquired a 25 per cent stake in Ola Electric Mobility valuing the company at $1 billion,” a source familiar with the development told Financial Express Online. SoftBank’s partnership with Ola Electric negates earlier media reports on distancing between the two companies and highlights their long term partnership. SoftBank has been among the key backers to Indian companies such as OYO, Paytm, Delhivery, Grofers etc.

The company had raised funding in May this year from Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata who put money in his personal capacity as part its Series A round of funding. Importantly, Ratan Tata is also a backer in Ola. In March as well Ola Electric Mobility had raised funding worth Rs 400 crore led by Tiger Global and Matrix India.

The company is currently running several pilot programmes in India for electric vehicles. Starting with its Nagpur multimodal experiment, Ola has turned its focus on electric two and three wheelers by building charging infrastructure and swappable battery systems.

Ola’s focus on electric vehicles gains significance as the government is looking to have 40 per cent of Ola and Uber fleet convert into all-electric vehicles by April 2026. Both Ola and Uber, as per a Reuters report, would be ordered to switch to 2.5 per cent electrification by 2021 to be further enhanced to 5 per cent by the following year and doubling it by 2023.

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