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As Uber reels under crises, Ola in talks with Tencent to raise $400 mn

Ola is shoring up on investments as it dabbles with the idea of using electric cars as cabs

Alnoor Peermohamed  |  Bengaluru 

An employee speaks over his phone as he sits at the front desk inside the office of Ola cab service in Gurugram (Photo: Reuters)
An employee speaks over his phone as he sits at the front desk inside the office of Ola cab service in Gurugram (Photo: Reuters)

India’s largest taxi aggregator is in talks to raise $400 million in fresh funding from Chinese Internet behemoth as it looks to quickly expand its service in the country at a time when its global rival is reeling under multiple crises.

is shoring up on investments as it dabbles with the idea of using electric cars as cabs and is increasingly relying on its in-house leasing unit to grow the base of partners on its platform. The company has raised close to $400 million in funding since November when led a $230 million investment in the company at a $3.5 billion valuation.


Sources told Business Standard that was indeed in talks with but nothing had been finalised just yet. The Times of India and Economic Times newspapers first reported about the two parties being in talks on Thursday, citing sources that said the round would push Ola’s valuation to over $4 billion.

Globally, is part of the anti-cartel through its backing of rivals such as Didi Chuxing in China, Lyft in the US, and Go-Jek in South East Asia. The company, in many cases, has invested alongside rival Alibaba and its close ally Softbank, which incidentally is the largest investor in today.

At a time when is rumoured to be in talks to pick up a small but significant share in Uber, which is valued at $69 billion, it might make sense for to bring in other strong investors. is Softbank’s second-largest bet in India after e-commerce firm Snapdeal, which the Japanese investor is now pushing to sell to its rival Flipkart for a song.


There’s a sense that is learning from such instances to ensure that it does not find itself in the same position as Snapdeal down the line. The firm has amended its Articles of Association by including a clause that would need the founders’ approval before increasing its stake either through primary or secondary share purchases.

From Tencent’s perspective, fits perfectly into the company’s agenda of acquiring a stake in Indian firms that are competing against US rivals. Ola’s situation is similar to Flipkart’s, where made a $700 million investment in April, which is being hounded by US giant Amazon. So far, the Chinese firm has maintained a small but diverse portfolio in India, including Practo, Hike Messenger, Byju’s, and Flipkart.

First Published: Thu, July 27 2017. 11:18 IST
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