India’s largest cab-hailing service Ola has raised $1.1 billion in fresh funding from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd and existing investor Japan’s SoftBank.
This fresh funding has given Ola a much needed boost to take on it’s American rival Uber which is closing on rapidly.
Though, it seems Ola isn’t in a mood to settle for just a billion.
Ola said it was in advanced talks to raise another $1 billion from existing and new investors, thus rounding off what may turn out to be a $2 billion funding round.
Ola’s fund-raise is the latest in a series of billion-dollar funding rounds in the Indian start-up ecosystem this year, with both Flipkart and Paytm having raised massive amounts of capital this year.
Flipkart leads the charts, having raised at least $2.8 billion in two separate tranches from SoftBank, Tencent, eBay and Microsoft, while Paytm raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank earlier this year.
China’s Tencent is a new backer of Ola. Whereas, SoftBank is an existing Ola investor.
Softbank has also invested in Grab, Lyft and Didi.
“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 $ 250 million in Ola.