Indian cab aggregator Ola has raised $1.1 billion led by Tencent Holdings Limited. Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors have also participated in this round.
As per a statement from Ola, Chinese internet major Tencent Holdings will bring significant expertise to Ola as it fights rival Uber.
Ola is also in advanced talks with other investors to close an additional $1 billion as part of the current financing round, concluding a total raise of over $2 billion.
“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,” Martin Lau, President of Tencent Holdings, said in a statement.
With its latest round of funding, Ola will be making strategic investments in supply, technology, and cutting edge innovations to build for the country’s unique transportation needs. The company will make significant technology investments into Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities to solve for India’s mobility problems. Ola also intends to go deeper into the Indian market by increasing its penetration.
“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. Our new partners share our passion for building the future of transportation in India together and we look forward to learn and benefit from their global perspectives and ecosystems,” Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola said.
Ola is currently has a presence across 110 cities in India. Ola has been expanding its presence across categories as well with Ola Bikes and electric vehicles being the latest.
This large round of funding comes at a time when it is locked in a fierce battle with global cab aggregator Uber, which is also reportedly in talks to raise nearly $1 billion from SoftBank as part of a larger $10 billion round.
This is also Ola’s first major fund raising after it raised $500 million from investors in November 2015.