Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal has invested about Rs 650 crore in Ola, giving the Indian ride-hailing company more ammunition to compete with rival Uber. The investment is in Sachin's personal capacity and is also the largest financing by an individual in Ola till date, Ola said in a statement. In January, Ola had issued shares worth Rs 150 crore to Sachin as part of series J round of funding.
Sachin, who founded Flipkart over a decade ago with Binny Bansal, had quit after US retail behemoth Walmart picked up 77 per cent stake in the Indian e-commerce company for USD 16 billion. "Ola is one of India's most promising consumer businesses, that is creating deep impact and lasting value for the ecosystem," Sachin said. The investment is part of Ola's plans to raise about USD 1 billion in funding. In October last year, the Bengaluru-based company had announced raising USD 1.1 billion funding from China's Tencent Holdings and SoftBank Group.
It had also stated that it was in "advanced talks" to close an additional USD 1 billion funding to take total mop-up to more than USD 2 billion. Ola is locked in a battle for market leadership with US-based rival Uber in India and other markets like Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The Indian company has been aggressively ramping up its rides business as well as hailing platform and food delivery operations (through Foodpanda). "We are extremely thrilled to have Sachin onboard Ola as an investor. Sachin is an icon of entrepreneurship and his experience of building one of India's most respected businesses ground up, is unparalleled," said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO at Ola.