Russian billionaire Yuri Milner's investment fund DST Global is in talks to lead an investment of between $400 million and $500 million in Indian ridesharing app company Ola Cabs, Times of India newspaper reported Thursday.
The investment could hinge on Ola Cabs closing a deal to acquire smaller rival Taxi For Sure, the paper added, without naming its sources.
Asia's smartphone revolution is enabling the rise of local mobile services startups across multiple sectors, drawing unprecedented investments from global investors. This is helping them establish themselves as U.S. rivals such as Uber Technologies Inc. look to accelerate expansion into Asia.
Emails to Ola's parent company ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and DST Global were not immediately responded to.
"Ola gets a lot of investor interest given the rapid growth it's seeing," said one executive with direct knowledge of the company's plans, adding that news of DST's investments could be "premature."
DST Global has already made investments in China's largest cab-hailing app company KuaiDi Dache, which is backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Japan's SoftBank Corp.
If its investment in Ola does go through, the deal would value the Indian company at $2.5 billion, Times reported, adding that Milner already has a personal investment in the startup.