Ola, the world’s leading mobility platform, has said Temasek and Plum Wood Investment Ltd, an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, are partnering company founder Bhavish Aggarwal for a $500-million investment ahead of its initial public offering (IPO). “Warburg Pincus is a new investor and Singapore-based Temasek is an existing investor since 2018,” said a person familiar with the development. “This is mainly a secondary transaction.” According to sources, in this financing round, Temasek and Warburg have bought shares worth $500 million from two of Ola’s existing investors. They said Tiger Global and Matrix Partners India, both of which hold 13-15 per cent in Ola, had sold shares in this round. “Tiger Global has partially exited,” said a source.
According to sources, Japan’s SoftBank holds 22 per cent and China’s Tencent has about 9 per cent in Ola. The funding comes at a time when Ola’s transportation business has been badly hit by the pandemic. “The good news is that its unit economics has improved more than the negative impact on their business,” said a person. “While Covid-19 brought its business down, it used the pandemic to improve its unit economics.” The funding is among the largest investments in the Indian consumer internet space by these funds. The Bengaluru-based firm said this was a testament to the robust and resilient business built by Ola as it continues to scale up across various categories and geographies in its ride-hailing business.
“Over the past 12 months we’ve made our ride-hailing business more robust, resilient, and efficient,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and group chief executive officer. “With strong recovery after lockdown and a shift in consumer preference away from public transportation, we are well positioned to capitalise on the various urban mobility needs of our customers. I welcome Warburg Pincus and Temasek to Ola and look forward to collaborating with them in our next phase of growth,” he said.