Ola has been planning to onboard a big investor for almost an year now. According to a recent media report, Chinese internet giant Tencent may play its bet on India’s online transportation network company Ola with an investment of $400 million (approximately Rs.2,500 crore). If the deal gets finalized, it will be the latest investment by Tencent after its participation in a $1.4 billion round for Flipkart and edu-tech startup Byju’s.
Tencent’s investment will provide Ola with much needed bandwidth, which has been in search for a heavy fundraising since last year to counterbalance Softbank’s superiority as the largest stakeholder. Report further added that this investment will take the company’s total valuation to over $4 billion and also provide a bandwidth to take on its market counterpart Uber.
Moreover, Microsoft is also expected to participate in the fund raising round and if it participates, the ride hailing giant may switch from AWS – Amazon Web Services to Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform.
China’s internet giant, Tencent has already backed other online transportation network companies like China’s Didi Chuxing and US based Lyft. Tencent has also backed Southeast Asian bike taxi firm Go-Jek and all these firms are the competitors of Uber. Hence now it will be interesting to witness one more round of investment by Tencent in Ola, another competitor of Uber.
In November Ola had closed a $250 million raise from SoftBank. This year Ola has been able to raise approximately $150 million funding , from US hedge fund Falcon Edge, New York based hedge fund Tekne Capital Management and Ratan Tata’s venture fund RNT Capital Advisors.
Since then Ola has been able to gain the market share with its autoride segment and outstation segment making it unique from its competitor, since Uber is not present in auto segment and has recently started with bike sharing and Uber Eats. Ola will also have a boost up since it’s San-Francisco based rival Uber’s internal challenges and also the discontinuation of incentives to cab drivers by Uber.
It will be great to see after all the ups and downs in ride hailing app industry as to how the online transportation network of India now frames up and whether it improves the life of a common Indian consumer or not.