Ride-hailing firm Ola looks to diversify into NBFC segment

Ride-hailing firm Ola looks to diversify into NBFC segment
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle

In a diversification move, home-grown cab-hailing major Ola has reportedly applied for a licence to start a non-banking financial company (NBFC).

The Economic Times (ET) on Monday reported, quoting people it did not name, that the move comes at a time when Ola’s ride-hailing business growth is slowing down.

The ET report added that the company is looking to “deepen a short-term credit service it currently provides on a pilot basis to riders on its app”. The report also said that Ola is planning to launch a credit card, in association with a bank. It is also reportedly looking to sell insurance to the company’s driver-partners and riders.

Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, has already forayed into food delivery with the acquisition of Foodpanda and Holachef.

The ET report also said that Ola’s mobile wallet Ola Money may be hived off as a separate entity.

Email queries to Ola went unanswered till the time of publishing the story.

Earlier this month, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal had invested Rs 149.99 crore ($21.18 million then) in Ola.

For Ola, the funding came at a time when media reports said that it is in the midst of raising a larger $1 billion round. Online media publication YourStory, citing a highly-placed person in the know, stated that Ola will raise $2 billion in fresh funding.

Ola has entered three overseas markets—Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand—over the past year. 

Foodpanda has expanded to 100 cities, by a recent announcement from the company.

However, Ola has also been battling a string of high-level exits in recent times. In January, Ola old-timer and interim chief operations officer (COO) Pallav Singh quit the company after serving almost seven years.

The development came eight months after senior vice-president Singh had taken over as COO following the departure of Vishal Kaul, who quit after serving the company for nearly one-and-a-half years.