India’s dominant ride-hailing app, Ola, announced Wednesday that it has raised $500 million in fresh funds to defend against Uber’s challenge on its home turf.
A new valuation has not been disclosed, though news of the round that initially leaked back in September pegged Ola’s new valuation at $5 billion.
Update: A source familiar with the deal has told VentureBeat that the new valuation is indeed $5 billion.
The investment was led by Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group, DST Global, and Didi Kuaidi (China’s dominant ride-hailing app).
This news comes the same day that U.S.-based ridehailing app Lyft, which shares some investors with Ola, is said to be raising $500 million at a $4 billion valuation.
Indeed, there is something of a global alliance taking shape against Uber among regional ride-hailing startups. In Southeast Asia, for example, GrabTaxi shares many of the same investors as Ola and Lyft.
And it’s possible that, in time, there many be further consolidation between all these regional players — whether in the form of acquisitions and mergers, or through more Didi-Lyft style tie-ups.
Ola says it’s grown by more than 30 times in the past year, and now claims over one million booking requests per day, with 350,000 vehicles registered on its platform.
It also said that its mobile apps — which include Ola Share, Ola Prime, and ewallet app Ola Money — are now on 78 percent of cab users’ smartphones in India.
This round takes Ola’s total raised funds to date to about $1.3 billion — with over $1.2 billion of that coming in the past year alone. Most recently, in April, the company raised $400 million.
Uber said it was aiming for one million rides per day in India after getting backing from Tata Opportunities Fund back in August. (The Opportunities Fund is a private equity fund advised by India’s Tata Capital.) But India hasn’t been an easy market for Uber, to date.
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