Ola is all set to bring another new investor amid its ongoing boardroom battle with SoftBank. According to Economic Times (ET), Ola has signed a term sheet with Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Investment. Mirae Asset-Naver Asia is a South Korean joint venture fund between financial giant Mirae Asset and internet major Naver.
ET could not ascertain the exact amount that Mirae Asset-Naver Asia is looking to invest in the ride-hailing company. However, it is almost certain that the funding will be part of the ongoing series J funding round. This round has already brought clutch of new investors in Ola including Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. Bansal invested $100 Mn in the Bengaluru based ride hailing company only few weeks back.
Ola will most likely raise new investment at a market valuation of $5 -$6 Bn. The ride-hailing major had raised $100 Mn from Bansal at more or less same valuation.
Uber’s India rival has been lately on a fundraising spree as the company looks to diversify into new businesses. The company has especially taken huge bet on FoodPanda, the newly acquired food delivery business. Its entry into foodtech sector has enormously increased the fundraising appetite as pressure to compete with Swiggy & Zomato persists. Not to mention Uber’s entry in foodtech sector has only increased the pressure on company further.
The Bengaluru based ride-hailing company has been equally belligerent in expanding its international presence. Needless to say, the aggressive expansion has been partly (if not entirely) responsible for fueling its recent fundraising spree. The company has spread its wings in highly competitive international markets like U.K, Australia and New Zealand.
Boardroom battle with SoftBank
Bhavish Aggarwal has been aggressively pursuing to bring new investors in desperate quest to control SoftBank’s influence in the boardroom. According to reports, SoftBank had already proposed to invest $1 Bn in the ride-hailing company. But Aggarwal rejected the proposal as SoftBank is already the largest investor in the company. Aggarwal feared that taking any more funds from SoftBank would give the Japanese giant an unprecedented control over company’s day to day affair.
Aggarwal’s concern about Softbank’s domination is not unwanted given that the Japanese giant is known for pushing its portfolio companies to take hard decisions.
If grapevines are to be believed then Softbank was mainly responsible for Walmart’s takeover of Flipkart, though Sachin Basal was against it. It is equally believed to be responsible for Uber’s exit from the Southeast Asian market last year.