India’s homegrown cab hailing company Ola (operated by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has scooped up $36 million (Rs 231 crore) in the fresh round of funding. This is according to Ola’s latest filing with the registrar of companies. According to the filing, ANI Technologies raised the fund from the New York based hedge fund company Tekne Capital Management on June 7.
The filing further stated that the cab hailing major has allotted preference shares to two investment arms of Tekne Capital. It has allotted 1.23 lakh shares to Tekne Private Ventures III LP for Rs 167.15 crore. Besides, it has allotted 47,548 shares worth Rs 64.28 crore to Tekne Private Ventures I Master.
The SoftBank backed Ola lately has been engaged in fund raising activities in a bid to take on its deep pocketed arch rival Uber. In May this year, it had had raised Rs670 crore ($104.4 million) from several investors. Last month, there was also news that tech giant Microsoft is also interested in taking a minority stake in the cab haling major.
Analysts say that Ola has been in pressure to raise fresh funds since now India has become all the more important market for Uber, after the latter made an unceremonious exit from Chinese market last year. Both companies have already stretched their budget to limit in a bid to grab bigger pie of the Indian cab hailing market. But of late both companies have been in pressure to become more profitable, which has forced them to cut on driver incentives, advertisements and customer discounts.
However, the factor that may work in Ola’s favour in long run is that it is present over 100 Indian cities as compared to mere 29 cities by Uber. The homegrown cab haling major is also attempting some innovative strategies to take on its U.S. based arch rival. For instance, there have been recent reports in media that Ola is planning to start bike taxi service in many Indian cities and has already taken strategic steps for the same.