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SoftBank, other investors, keen to pump up to USD 1 bn in Ola

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: December 4, 2018  | 18:03 IST

New Delhi, Dec 4 (PTI) Cab aggregator Ola has received interests from multiple investors, including existing shareholder SoftBank, to pump in funds of up to USD 1 billion, according to sources. Locked in a bruising battle for market leadership with US-based rival Uber in India as well as in markets like Australia, New Zealand and the UK, Ola has been aggressively ramping up its ride hailing platform and food delivery operations. Multiple sources, who did not wish to be identified, said the Bengaluru-based company has received interests from various investors, including existing shareholder SoftBank, to pump in funds between USD 800 million and USD 1 billion. However, no formal discussions in this regard have started yet, they added. Ola declined to comment on the matter, while an email sent to SoftBank did not elicit any response. ANI Technologies, which operates Ola, has raised well over USD 2 billion and counts among its investors names like SoftBank Group, Tiger Global and Sequoia India. In October last year, Ola had announced raising USD 1.1 billion in funding led by Tencent Holdings. According to reports, Ola had amended its Articles of Asociation and SoftBank and its affiliates would need the approval of Ola's founders Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati as well as the consent of the company's board to purchase any additional shares of the company from other stakeholders. Also, Aggarwal and Bhati in September this year had sought the Competition Commission of India's approval for increasing stake (by less than 10 per cent) in ANI Technologies. A notice with the CCI said the acquisition will be made through Lazarus Holdings, which is incorporated in Singapore, and is a special purpose vehicle which will be used as an investment holding company. While ANI Technologies is not a publicly-traded company, according to regulatory documents, the company saw its consolidated total income rising over 70 per cent to Rs 1,380.7 crore FY2016-17 as against Rs 810.7 crore in FY2015-16. However, its losses also widened to Rs 4,897.8 crore in FY2016-17 as compared to a loss of Rs 3,147.9 crore in FY2015-16. PTI SR SVK MR MR

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