Continuing with its aggressive fundraising spree, Ola on Friday announced that it has successfully closed the ongoing series J funding round by raising over Rs 520 crore from the Hong Kong-based Steadview Capital. According to Economic Times (ET), the fresh round values the company anywhere between $5.5 billion and $6 billion, which technically makes India’s homegrown cab hailing firm country’s third most valued private internet technology company.
Steadview Capital, which was already an existing investor in Ola, will receive 2,45,082 preference shares at a subscription price of Rs 21,250 per share, according to latest filings filed with the registrar of companies.
Reports were rife in the media circle as well as the industry that Ola’s co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal is seeking fresh investors in order to curtail SoftBank’s influence in the company’s boardroom. SoftBank, which is already the largest stakeholder, was reportedly interested in pumping another $1 bn in the Bengaluru headquartered cab hailing firm.
However, concerned about losing control over his company, Aggarwal rejected SoftBank’s funding offer. Instead the young co-founder started pursing for other investors including the likes of Singapore based Temasek and Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal.
Aggarwal’s hesitance in accepting SoftBank’s offer doesn’t appear to be a case of misplaced concern given that the Japanese investment giant is known for forcing its controlling company in merger and sale out deals. The last time it pulled off such an act was in the previous year with Uber-Grab merger. That merger led to Uber’s exit from the Southeast Asian market.
Meanwhile, Steadview Capital seems to have waken up from a long slumber. After remaining almost inactive since 2015, the Hong Kong based firm has recently picked up investments in Indian portfolio companies. Apart from Ola, the investment firm has picked up stakes in high profile startups like INDWealth, UrbanClap and Urban Ladder.