Ola raises $1.1 billion in its latest round of funding

Ola said it was in advanced talks to raise another $1 billion from existing and new investors thus rounding off what may turn out to be a $2 billion funding round

It's official: Ola has bagged $1 billion in funding and is eyeing yet another billion

Today (Oct. 11), Bengaluru-based ride-hailing company Ola announced that it had raised $1.1 billion (Rs7,180 crore) in a funding round led by Chinese internet giant Tencent.

"We will invest the fresh funding in supply, technology and innovations to build the country's growing transportation needs", said Ola co-founder and Chief Executive Bhavish Aggarwal on the occasion. The company said in a statement that existing investor SoftBank besides other new US-based financial investors have participated in this round. The development comes on a day Ola said it had raised $1.1 billion from Tencent and SoftBank.

It is reportedly still looking to snag an extra $1 billion (£760 million) in funding on top of the $1.1 billion, which will leave the Indian company worth $7 billion (£5.3 billion).

An Ola spokesperson, however, told IANS later that the company had raised $500 million in November 2015 from investment management firm Baillie Gifford, China's largest taxi-hailing services firm Didi Kuaidi and its investors Falcon Edge Capital, SoftBank, DST Glob and Tiger Global.

The company will also use artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve the country's mobility problems and offer affordable transportation. Ola is in more Indian cities than Uber is, but it is unavailable outside of India.

Earlier this year, Tencent was part of Flipkart's United States dollars 1.4 billion fund raising that also saw participation from Microsoft and eBay.

Over the last few years, the explosion of smartphones in India - one of the world's largest telecom markets - has made it more convenient for consumers to book a cab on the go through apps and secure payment options. The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. "Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move".

The antitrust cases in India, nevertheless, are set to further intensify the showdown between ride-hailing firms and local players in India's $12 billion taxi market.

The head of Meru Cabs said the company has filed four new complaints with the country's antitrust watchdog, claiming that Uber and Ola are abusing their dominance in four different cities by burning vast sums of investor funds to distort the market.

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