South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company is in advanced talks with homegrown cab-hailing platform Ola for an investment of $250-300 million. Hyundai could pick up 4% stake in Bengaluru-based Ola that is looking to bring in more funds for a valuation of $6 billion. If the deal follows through, it would be Hyundai's second investment in the Indian startup ecosystem. It had earlier led a Rs 100-crore funding round in car rental startup Revv in August last year.
Hyundai's investment would bring in another major investor in the company. It is likely to even out the power scales that is heavily tipped in the favour of SoftBank and could protect the rights of founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati.
The latest investment could close over the next few weeks, a report in The Economic Times said. This investment is part of Ola's current $500-million equity financing round that has also seen the participation of Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. After Bansal's exit from Flipkart, the entrepreneur invested Rs 650 crore in Ola in what is the largest personal investment in the domestic internet sector.
Hyundai's Ola move comes after it invested $250 million in Singaporean cab-hailing platform Grab in November last year. Its competitors such as General Motors, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp have all backed ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft as they are bracing for slower car ownerships across the world.
In India too, Mahindra and Mahindra, and Ford have pumped in money in car-rental firm Zoomcar over multiple rounds. Toyota also led a $30-million funding round in auto services company Droom last year.
Investment firm Temasek also picked up a stake of around 5% in Ola's parent company ANI Technologies for about $150-200 million last year.