Ola raises $330 mn in fresh round led by SoftBank

Bengaluru-based cab-hailing firm Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has raised $330 million (Rs 2,200 crore) in fresh funding led by existing investor SoftBank Group Corp, a media report said on Monday.

Citing sources it did not identify, Business Standardreported that the Japanese tech giant and two other existing investors participated in the round, but the cab aggregator’s valuation dropped 30% from $5 billion to $3.5 billion.

Ola did not respond to an email seeking comment. A SoftBank spokesperson, in an email reply, told VCCircle: “We do not comment on speculation.”

Ola has been trying to raise funds for several months as competition with the local unit of US-based Uber Technologies Inc. intensifies.

In October, The Times of India had reported that Ola was in talks with SoftBank and US-based automobile giant General Motors to raise $500 million. The same month, The Economic Times had reported thatSoftBank may invest $250-300 million in Ola.

Founded by Indian entrepreneurs Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2010, Ola has so far raised close to $1.2 billion from marquee investors, such as Tiger Global Management and Matrix Partners.

This includes $500 million in a Series F round from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford, China’s Didi Chuxing and other investors in November 2015, $400 million in a Series E round led by DST Global in April 2015, and $210 million in its Series D round led by SoftBank in October 2014.

The company, however, has been burning a huge amount of cash to woo customers, gain market share and compete with Uber.

Ola posted a seven-fold rise in revenue to Rs 380.2 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 49.6 crore in 2013-14. But its net loss widened to Rs 754.8 crore from Rs 34.2 crore, as total expenditure rose 14 times to Rs 1,173 crore. The company’s numbers for 2015-16 were not available.

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