Japanese investor SoftBank has pumped in about Rs 1,675 crore in fresh funding in Indian transportation startup Ola to give it more muscle to take American rival Uber head-on.SoftBank subsidiary SIMI Pacific Pte picked 12,97,945 shares valued at Rs 10 at a premium of Rs 12,895 in ANI Technologies — which runs Ola — filings with the Registrar of Companies showed.
The allotment of shares was done in November last year, it added. The latest funding, however, is believed to have come at a lower valuation. According to sources, the move comes at a time when Softbank is working on selling Snapdeal, an e-commerce platform it invested heavily in India, to larger rival Flipkart.
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The Bengaluru-based firm was aggressively looking at raising funds to compete with Uber, the world’s most valuable start-up. After selling its Chinese business to Didi last year, Uber has now set sights on India making it one of its top priorities.
Though Indian Internet companies have seen a boom in user base, their valuations have come down as investors are now focussing on path to profitability and building a sustainable business model. Flush with private equity and venture capitalist money, many start-ups continue to have high burn rate that has been a concern for investors.
Earlier this week, India’s largest e-commerce firm Flipkart raised USD 1.4 billion from Tencent, eBay and Microsoft in a round that saw its valuation fall from USD 15 billion to USD 11.6 billion now.