Softbank has confirmed that it has led a $210 million investment in Ola, an Uber-style service in India that aims to use technology to shake up and dominate the car-for-hire and wider transportation market in the country. Nikesh Arora will be joining the board of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. as part of this strategic investment by the SIMI.
Existing investors including Tiger Global,Matrix Partners and Steadview Capital also participated in the round. Ola confirmed that SoftBank is now the largest shareholder in the company founded in January 2011.
Ola currently has up to four different classes of cars for hire — based around size options — and like any disruptive car network with big ambitions, it has been dabbling in extending the network of drivers to transport more than just people, recently delivering sweets during the Diwali holiday.
It is now live in 19 cities, launching 9 in the last two months. It currently has 33,000 cabs in its fleet and the main focus now is to bring in more drivers into its fold.
“We are making a big investment in getting drivers to become entrepreneurs,”said Anand Subramanian, Ola’s marketing head.
“Money is going to be invested in the driver ecosystem, expanding more aggressively, and adding more car categories in every city,”said Bhavish Aggarwal, 29-year-old computer science engineer from IIT-Bombay, who co founded the company with his collegemate Ankit Bhati.
Along with Olacabs, SoftBank Group also confirmed that it is investing $627 million into the online marketplace Snapdeal. The company has reportedly committed an investment of $10 billion into India’s information technology (IT) and communications segment.
To know more check out the press release.