Ola raises fresh funds from SoftBank
Photo Credit: Reuters

Bangalore-based ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates cab-hailing firm Ola, has secured Rs 1,675 crore ($250-260 million) in fresh funding from SIMI Pacific Pte, a SoftBank subsidiary, documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show.

This comes barely two days after VCCircle first reported that Ola has decided to raise the said amount from existing shareholders. However, none of the other investors participated in this round. It is not clear whether this is also part of a larger round of funding.

The documents reveal that Ola has issued 12,97,945 Series-I preference shares, each with a face value of Rs 10, issued at a subscription price of Rs 12,905 that includes a premium of Rs 12,895.

This means the fundraise could be part of the $330-million round reported by the media in February. In November 2015, Ola had last raised $500 million in Series F funding from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford and China’s Didi Kuaidi, apart from some existing investors.

E-mail queries sent to Ola did not elicit a response immediately.

The new round of funding by SoftBank would also reassert its position as the major shareholder in Ola. According to estimates made by VCCircle last year, SoftBank held a 22.5% stake in Ola, followed by Tiger Global (20.5%).

It is not clear what valuation Ola is seeking in this round. In the last round, in August 2015, it was valued at $4.8 billion. However, media reports in February pegged its valuation at around $3.5 billion.

Founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2010, Ola has so far raised a little over $1.4 billion (including the new funding round) from marquee investors such as Tiger Global and Matrix Partners. This includes $500 million in a Series F round from Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford, China’s Didi Chuxing and other investors in November 2015; $400 million in a Series E round led by DST Global in April 2015; and $210 million in its Series D round led by SoftBank in October 2014.

The company, however, has been burning a huge amount of cash to woo customers and gain market share. Its revenue rose seven times to Rs 380.2 crore in FY2014-15 from Rs 49.6 crore in FY2013-14. But its net loss widened to Rs 754.8 crore from Rs 34.2 crore, as total expenditure surged 14 times to Rs 1,173 crore. Its financials for FY2015-16 are not available.

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