India’s Uber arch-rival Ola has once again won backing from Japan’s SoftBank, with fresh funding of US$330 million, a person familiar with the details of the deal told Tech in Asia.
However, the fresh funding comes at a cost. Ola’s valuation has dropped by more than 30 percent to US$3.5 billion, Business Standard reported today. Ola’s valuation drop is indicative of declining investor confidence in India.
Ola did not respond to emails about the funding or the valuation.
Ola was valued at about US$5 billion after its November 2015 investment. Uber is worth about US$60 billion.
Softbank took a writedown on Ola late last year as it slashed the company’s valuation. That has not discouraged it from a return investment.
It’s my party and I’ll cry foul if I want to
Ola has been in the market to raise funds for the past six months, but failed to do so at its earlier valuation. Investors have been wary of investing in companies like Ola and Amazon-esque Snapdeal – both high-profile SoftBank investments – because of mounting losses and declining market share compared with Uber and Amazon.
The new cash, nonetheless, will come as a shot in the arm for Ola as it fights to stay ahead of Uber. SoftBank holds a 22.5 percent stake in Ola, while Tiger Global, its second largest shareholder, has about 20 percent.
In December, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal took its battle with Uber to the government. Along with Flipkart, he cried foul about the uneven playing field created in India by the deep pockets of “foreign” players – read Uber.
Ola continues to burn billions of rupees to stay afloat amid intense competition from the American player. The startup has raised about US$1.2 billion to date.
It has also seen a string of recent high-profile exits. The latest to leave was chief financial officer, Rajiv Bansal, who quit earlier this month.
SoftBank has invested close to US$2 billion in India to date, with the majority of it, about US$1.3 billion, deployed in Ola and Snapdeal. SoftBank also has investments in hotel booking platform Oyo, grocery delivery app Grofers, and real estate classifieds player Housing.
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