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We declined 'much higher' takeover bid from Uber: TaxiForSure co-founder

Went with Ola Cabs because it got a committed assurance on jobs

BS Reporter  |  Hyderabad 

TaxiForSure co-founder Raghunandan G on Friday said the start-up had dismissed a bid from Uber. The bid was “phenomenally higher than the $200 million offered by Ola Cabs” early this year.

In his keynote speech on ‘when to scale and when to sell’ at the TiE-ISB Connect session on Friday, he said the founders of TaxiForSure could have become “a lot richer” had they accepted Uber’s bid, but had turned down the bid after “realising around 90 per cent of (its) people would be laid off”.

Instead, Raghunandan said, the team was happy to go with the lower acquisition bid of $200 million, as it got a committed assurance on jobs from Ola Cabs.

Investors in TaxiForSure are Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Helion Venture Partners.

He said: “What we wanted from Ola was none of our people be fired; the brand has to continue and every single member of the product development team should get a two-month bonus. Since we didn’t negotiate much on financials, we got all others things done”.

“Our team had shared some information on operations with Uber, and for the first time, they had changed their philosophy of no acquisitions and considered buying us,” he said.

He said, “The only problem with Uber was, across the world they had 850 people and we had 2,000. Uber did not know what to do with our people. It took a call that it did not need the local technology and market analytics’ teams. All it wanted was people who could recognise operations and did not want to run a call centre here.”

First Published: Sat, March 28 2015. 00:47 IST