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Ola raises $500 Mn in a pre-IPO funding from new & existing investors

Home grown cab-hailing giant Ola has raised $500 Mn led by existing investors Temasek Holdings and private equity major Warburg Pincus. Fort Canning and Ola’s CEO Bhavesh Agarwal also participated in the round.  The round has been unofficially tipped as the ride hailing major’s pre IPO round. However, the Mumbai-based company may raise more funds in the coming months before its  IPO listing.

Ola's official logo

It must be noted that these investments are subjected to approval by competition watchdog CCI. The company has already filed an application for the same with CCI. The fresh fundraise has come almost one and half year after Ola’s previous fund raise. The fund also has come at a time when Ola’s business has been disrupted by pandemic.

According to Techpluto’s knowledge, Ola’s still hasn’t file its financial statement for FY21. In Fy19, the company’s operating revenue was spiked by more than 30%, earning revenue of INR 2,543 as compared to INR 1847 in the previous financial year.

But despite the pandemic shock, Agarwal sought to strike a positive note in the official statement. Agarwal said that the pandemic has shifted people’s preference from public transport to personal urban mobility.

Agarwal’s fresh investment in the ongoing round has further increased his stake in the company. This should comfortably make him one of the largest stakeholders in the company. Notably, nearly two years back Agarwal was locked in a boardroom battle with SoftBank as the latter aggressively pursued to increase its stake in the company.

Although two years back Uber’s IPO proved to be a dude, Ola will expect a better response from investor when it goes for a public listing. Irrespective of the outcome, Ola’s IPO is amongst the most anticipated IPOs and will show investor’s appetite for loss-making Indian startups.

It must be noted that slew of high-profile Indian startups that are vying for an IPO are standalone profitable company. Most of them are still loss-making companies.


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