SoftBank to Invest $210 million in India’s ‘Ola Mobile App’ for Cab Booking

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Ola, India’s mobile app for cab-booking has announced a definitive agreement to raising $210mn (approx. INR 1260 cr.) from SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (SMIC) and existing investors, Tiger Global, Matrix Partners India and Steadview Capital.

Ola in the last two months has launched operations across 9 new Indian cities taking its overall presence to 19 as well as new and innovative categories across existing cities. Such rapid growth has made Ola, the first choice of transportation across every city of its operation. Ola is the largest and fastest growing cab-booking app with over 33,000 cabs on the mobile app available for customers to book from.

This fresh investment led by SoftBank will further propel Ola to be an integral part of India’s transportation ecosystem across newer cities by making available an efficient, reliable and convenient option for users and service providers.

Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Corp. said, “Since SoftBank’s foundation, our mission has been to contribute to people’s lives through the Information Revolution. We believe India is at a turning point in its development and have confidence that India will grow strongly over the next decade. As part of this belief, we intend to deploy significant capital in India over the next few years to support development of the market.”

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder & CEO, Ola said, “We are thrilled with the pace at which we are growing. Ola is at the forefront of the mobile internet revolution in India and Softbank as an investor and a strategic partner with its global network, brings in a lot of relevant experience and knowledge of this domain. We will continue to build towards our vision of transportation as a seamless and ubiquitous service in every corner of the country and focus on the driver ecosystem to enable micro entrepreneurship and skill development at scale.”

Nikesh Arora, Vice Chairman of SoftBank and CEO of SIMI added, “India has the third largest Internet user base in the world, but a relatively small online market currently. This situation means India has, with better, faster and cheaper Internet access, a big growth potential. With today’s announcement SoftBank is contributing to the development of the infrastructure for the digital future of India. We want to support the leaders and entrepreneurs of the digital future; Bhavish is such a great leader.”

Ola has raised earlier rounds of funding from Tiger Global, Matrix Partners India, Steadview Capital and Sequoia Capital. The Series D round of $210mn led by SoftBank qualifies as one of the largest fund-raises in Indian e-commerce and mobile space.

Ola, founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati is India’s leading mobile application for cab booking, integrating city transportation for customers and drivers onto a technology platform. This ensures convenient, transparent and quick service fulfillment for both customers and drivers.


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TelecomDrive Bureau covers the latest developments happening in the space of communications, devices and innovations in targeted geographies of India, SAARC, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.TelecomDrive Bureau is headed by Zia Askari. He can be reached at ziaaskari@telecomdrive.com