Ola’s electric mobility arm raises $250 mn from SoftBank, valuation triples

Ola’s electric mobility arm raises $250 mn from SoftBank, valuation triples
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2 Jul, 2019

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd, a unit of cab-hailing major Ola, has raised $250 million (Rs 1,725.04 crore) from SoftBank.

According to the company’s filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the company raised this sum today by issuing compulsorily convertible preference shares to Cayman Islands-based SB Topaz Ltd, an associate company of SoftBank.

As per TechCircle estimates, Ola Electric’s valuation rose three-fold to nearly $960 million, around $40 million short of a unicorn valuation. In its last known infusion from Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, it was valued at $260 million.

Email queries sent to Ola seeking more information on this funding round did not elicit a response till the time of publishing this report.

Prior to this, its last known major funding round was in March when it raised $56 million (Rs 400 crore then) from Tiger Global Management and Matrix Partners India, who are also investors in its parent company.

Ola Electric

The electric mobility company was earlier part of Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. It was hived off as a separate entity in April 2018.

Headed by Ola executives Anand Shah and Ankit Jain, Ola Electric Mobility primarily focuses on deploying charging and battery-swapping networks for the commercial electric vehicles segment. It is heading towards deploying electric vehicles and charging solutions, including battery swapping stations, electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler services.

Ola has partnered with several original equipment manufacturers and battery makers, and intends to work closely with the automotive industry to create solutions for electric vehicle operations

Last month, Ola said it will set up its first technology centre in the San Francisco Bay Area, a region in Northern California spanning the city of San Francisco and surrounding counties. The centre will focus on developing next-generation technologies in mobility including electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.

Ola also said that it will build a team of around 150 engineers for its centre, hailing from backgrounds of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data sciences, engineering and product development.