Ola has found an ally and Indian investor in Sachi Bansal, who reportedly looking to invest $100 million in the cab aggregator.
Sachin Bansal, one of the co-founders of Flipkart, exited the company after off-loading his entire 5.5% stake to Walmart and is said to have pocketed $1 billion from the deal.
According to an Economic Times report, he is committing 10% of this amount to Ola. Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati are the founders of Ola and Agarwal, in particular, is said to be close to Sachin Bansal. They have been seen to be collectively voicing their reservations on the lack of a level playing field when it comes to startups in India where some large players like Amazon and Uber virtually hammer down the Indian players like Flipkart and Ola.
The Ola founders have been having their own little Boardroom battle with major investor SoftBank of Japan and this investment by Bansal may help them consolidate their position. The amount to be invested by Sachin Bansal in Ola may be exchanged for both primary shares and some portion secondary liquidation by existing stakeholders. Ola is issuing fresh shares as part of overall equity restructuring. For the present though, the Ola founders appear to be on the safer side having strengthened their rights, which allows them to veto any further stake buy by SoftBank.
That Bansal is sticking his neck out and making such a large investment in one company has raised eyebrows since his previous commitments were not more than $1 to $2 million apiece. But looking at Ola’s valuation standing anywhere between $3 billion to $4.5 billion, this amount of $100 million does not appear too high either. The price of the shares being sold to Sachin Bansal will be based on these calculation figures only depending on if they are primary or secondary shares.
Staying with Bansal, it is rumoured that he does not intend floating a funding company but would rather set up a family office and take on investments in particular sectors where his interest lie. These may include fintech and lending startups as well as those involved in AI based technologies.