Sachin Bansal has invested whopping Rs 650 crore or $92 million in ride-hailing Major Ola. Bansal’s latest investment in Ola is the largest individual investment in an Indian startup, making it one of the landmark investments in Indian startup ecosystem. Flipkart co-founder had already invested Rs 150 crore in Ola via primary infusion few weeks back.
Bansal’s latest investment in Ola is reportedly part of the larger funding round wherein the cab-hailing major is planning to raise total $1 Bn. This is Bansal’s first major investment post his Flipkart stake sale to Walmart for nearly $1 Bn last year.
The investment also brings together Bansal and Bhavish Aggarwal, both of whom have been outspoken critic of unabated foreign capital deployed against local startups. Both entrepreneurs have continuously complained about local startups losing the level playing field to foreign startups owing to their financial muscle.
Ola finds another ally to curb SoftBank’s influence
Aggarwal probably could not have asked for a better ally than Bansal to build a defensive shield against SoftBank’s boardroom influence. Along with Binny Bansal, he is widely considered as the poster boy of Indian startup ecosystem. Both have inspired wave of new age internet entrepreneurs and hence are considered as chief architect of Indian startup ecosystem.
Bansal brings with him invaluable experience of building India’s most successful internet startup from scratch. An experience that will count for great importance for Aggarwal as his company aggressively pushes for diversification & expansion.
More importantly, Aggarwal would be relieved to have taken formidable step in keeping SoftBank at bay. Aggarwal has been more than hesitant in accepting any more funds from SoftBank, which is the largest investor in Ola.
Aggarwal is wary of SoftBank’s bullying tactics and propensity to take unilateral decisions that company’s original founders may not agree with. Probably no one knows more about this than Bansal himself, who had to unwillingly settle for Flipkart’s takeover by Walmart last year following SoftBank’s unilateral decision.