Ola raises $50M at a $4.3B valuation from two Chinese funds

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Bengaluru-based cab-hailing unicorn, Ola has raised ₹362 crores ($50 million) from two new Chinese investors, Sailing Capital and China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CEECF). The investments have been made through British Virgin Islands entities of the two Chinese funds, Auto Fortune Ltd and Odyssey Bravery Ltd, according to the regulatory documents filed with the registrar of companies accessed by paper.vc.

Indian cab-hailing giant Ola is expected to be valued between $3.7-4.3 billion, after the investment.

With the investment, Sailing Capital and CEECF, a state-backed investment fund of China, will hold a combined stake of around 1.17% in Ola1.

It is also being speculated that Sachin Bansal, co-founder and former chief executive officer of the Indian e-commerce giant Flipkar, is looking to acquire a stake in Ola, through secondary transactions.

There are also reports of alternative asset management firm Steadview Capital, helmed by Ravi Mehta, holding discussions with the cab-hailing startup to invest direct capital, as it also explores the secondary route to bump up its current shareholdings.

In October 2017, Ola raised around ₹7,172 crores in a funding round led by Tencent Holdings and Softbank.

The fresh funding comes at a time when Ola inches towards profitability and aggressively expands to overseas markets. Ola has announced its plans to venture into the New Zealand market, shortly after it had announced its foray into the UK market. The startup has also appointed Brain Dewil as Country Manager for New Zealand.

Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder, and CEO at Ola said, “We see a real opportunity in New Zealand to provide a fair alternative in the rideshare space for both customers and drivers. We invested in understanding the New Zealand customer and devised the right strategy to meet their transport needs.”

Last month, Ola expanded its cab-hailing business to the UK market, after it obtained licenses to operate in South Wales and Great Manchester. Earlier this year, Ola had entered the Australian market. Ola has accelerated its expansion plans since it announced that the startup had started making money on every ride, in July 2018.

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