Chinese giant Tencent funds $1.1 billion to Ola
The company said it will make significant technology investments into artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.
Ride-hailing company Ola said that it has raised $1.1 billion in a funding round led by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited. Ola’s existing investor SoftBank, in addition to other new US-based financial investors, have also participated in this round.
Ola said it 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. The investment is expected to help Ola build its war chest in the battle against Uber, a worldwide ride-hailing colossus, that is rapidly gaining share in the Indian market. “Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive of Ola, in a statement. With its latest round of funding, Ola said it will be making strategic investments in supply, technology, and cutting-edge innovations to build for the country’s unique transportation needs.
The company said it will make significant technology investments into artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to solve for India’s unique mobility problems. By doubling down on penetration, Ola said that it intends to go deeper into the Indian market to serve the vast majority of Indians who are looking for affordable and reliable commute and transportation. “The strategic partnership with Ola makes it possible for Tencent to be part of the fast-growing ride-hailing space in the country,” said Martin Lau, President of Tencent Holdings, in a statement.
Founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola said it is present in 110 cities across the country with over 14 unique categories to serve the various transportation use cases. These include India-centric categories like auto-rickshaws and bikes.
–BENGALURU, OCTOBER 11, 2017