ANI Technologies, which operates Ola Cabs -- India’s largest ride-hailing rival to Uber Technologies -- confirmed it has raised more money in a seventh round of funding. Ola said it plans to use the capital to expand services beyond major hubs like Delhi and Bangalore to provide transportation services in smaller towns in a bid to outflank Uber.
The $400 million round was led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global, joined by GIC, Falcon Edge Capital and existing investors SoftBank, Tiger Global Management, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners US.
“The additional investment will allow Ola to go deeper into smaller cities to build personal transportation ground-up. Ola has already seen tremendous growth in Tier 2 and 3 cities, owing to very limited transportation options that currently exist,” the cab-hailing app startup said in the statement. “There is a large opportunity waiting to be unlocked, to transform the ecosystem from within.”
Ola has innovated on the ride-hailing model by taking it to auto rickshaw drivers in India. The three-wheelers are a popular mode of transport for India’s middle class across several cities, and Uber has tapped that market as well in India.
Last year, Ola received $210 million from Japan’s SoftBank, which has backed Uber’s rivals across Asia. Ola then bought smaller rival TaxiForSure in Bangalore, India’s tech capital, as its competition intensified with Uber. The San Francisco company sees India as its biggest market outside the U.S.