Indian cab aggregator Ola on Wednesday said it has raised USD 1.1 billion in a round led by Tencent with participation from Japanese firm Softbank and new US-based undisclosed investors.
The round has however not closed yet and the company is expected to raise another USD 1 billion more, the cab-aggregator said in a statement.
The company will utilise the funds for making strategic investments in supply and technology. It plans to invest heavily into artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. It also plans to double down on penetration, intending to go deeper into the Indian market.
Ola is currently present in 110 cities across the country with over 14 categories like auto-rickshaws and bikes, as well as vehicles equipped with connected car platform for ridesharing, Ola Play.
Ola also runs solutions like Ola Share and Multimodal Electric Vehicles on its platform.
"The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move. Our new partners share our passion for building the future of transportation in India together and we look forward to learn and benefit from their global perspectives and ecosystems," said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ola.
"Ola’s unique local offerings are tailored to India’s burgeoning transportation needs. The strategic partnership with Ola makes it possible for Tencent to be part of the fast-growing ride-hailing space in the country. We look forward to helping Ola further develop India’s transportation solutions," said Martin Lau, president of Tencent Holdings.
Tencent's entry could help Ola counter the influence of its largest shareholder SoftBank. In November 2016, SoftBank had invested USD 250 million in Ola.Investor interest in Ola has increased at a time when its rival Uber is facing internal challenges. Earlier this year, Uber exited direct operations in Russia. In 2016, it had sold its China-business to rival Didi Chuxing.