近日，打车应用巨头Ola完成了5000万美元新一轮融资，投资方为香港帆船资本（Sailing Capital）和中国-欧亚经济合作基金(China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund)，估值约为43亿美元。本轮融资后，Sailing Capital和中国政府支持的投资基金CEECF将共同持有Ola超过1%的股份，这也意味着Ola的估值自上一轮融资以来已略有上升。
去年十月，Ola曾从中国腾讯控股有限公司(Tencent Holdings Ltd .)和日本软银集团 (SoftBank Group Corp.)募集到了一笔 11亿美元的融资，当时公司估值为35 - 40亿美元。Ola公司还表示，他们正在与新的投资者洽谈拟再融资10亿美元的事宜。有知情人士表示，预计Ola将在未来数月从新投资者手中筹集到新资金，其中包括新加坡淡马锡。据了解，做移动打车服务起家的创业公司Ola正在进行大举扩张，并推出了美食速递业务，打算与Swiggy和Zomato展开竞争。事实上，为了跟上这种激进的扩张步伐，Ola需要不断从新投资者和现有投资者那里筹集新资金，而目前，创投生态系统发展速度很快，很多初创公司募集到的资金规模都在大幅飙升。自2011年成立以来，Ola公司已经筹集了大约25亿美元的资金。
Ola, India’s largest cab-hailing service, has raised $50 million at a valuation of roughly $4.3 billion from Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital and the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF), as part of the SoftBank-backed start-up’s move to raise fresh funds of at least $1 billion.
Sailing and CEECF, a state-backed investment fund of China, will hold a combined stake of more than 1% in Ola, implying that the latter’s valuation has inched up since its previous fund-raise, showed regulatory documents filed by Ola with the ministry of corporate affairs and sourced by business intelligence platform Paper.vc.
The latest fund-raise from the two Chinese investment firms comes at a time when Ola is aggressively expanding outside and within India, while also building up a strong food-tech business to compete with Swiggy and Zomato, as the Bengaluru-based company looks to fortify its lead against arch-rival Uber Technologies in India.
Last October, Ola, which is run by ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, raised $1.1 billion in fresh funds at a valuation of $3.5-4 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and existing investor, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. At the time, Ola indicated that it was in talks to raise another $1 billion from new investors.
Ola is expected to raise fresh funds over the coming months from new investors, including Singapore’s Temasek. Temasek has already bought secondary shares in Ola, according to two people aware of the latest discussions. Mint first reported in July that Temasek purchased shares worth at least $30 million from former and early employees of Ola as part of a secondary share sale.
To keep up its aggressive pace of expansion, Ola will need to consistently raise fresh funds from new and existing investors, at a time when India’s start-up ecosystem is witnessing a massive upsurge in funding momentum. Ola has raised roughly $2.5 billion since starting out in 2011 and is India’s second-most valuable internet start-up after e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company Paytm, whose parent company is One97 Communications Ltd.
More importantly, Ola needs to have massive amounts of capital at its disposal to fight Uber, which is easily the most deep-pocketed start-up in the world and also counts SoftBank as an investor.
In April, Mint had reported that Ola may raise funds separately for Foodpanda later this year to tap the strong investor demand for food-tech start-ups.
Apart from its push to raise fresh funds at a higher valuation, Ola co-founder and chief executive officer Bhavish Aggarwal has also been embroiled in a boardroom tussle with its largest investor, SoftBank.
Mint reported in May that SoftBank was in the midst of a boardroom battle with Aggarwal, after he had blocked a proposed deal involving Tiger Global Management selling part of its stake to SoftBank.
Last year, Ola had changed its articles of association to include a clause to prevent SoftBank from buying more shares in Ola without approval from the company’s founders and board.