$250 million investment by Softbank has made Ola Electric a “unicorn”, or a start-up valued at more than $1 billion
Ola Electric has raised $250 million from Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, according to regulatory documents.
The funding would help Ola compete with rival Uber, which is also backed by SoftBank. It will also help Ola Electric in its expansion plans. The investment is timely for the firm.
Experts said the new funding round has also suppressed speculations that Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola and Ola Electric were trying to avoid additional investments from SoftBank.
In May, Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, invested an undisclosed sum in Ola Electric. The firm had also raised a sum of Rs 400 crore in March, led by several of Ola’s early investors, Tiger Global, Matrix India and others, as part of its first round of investment, according to source.
The company is running pilots involving charging solutions, battery-swapping stations, and deploying vehicles across the two-, three-, and four-wheeler segments.
The board of directors at Ola Electric passed the resolution for this capital infusion on Tuesday, following a special resolution passed by the members on June 25.
Last month, the government was planning to order Ola, Uber and other ride-hailing firms to convert 40 per cent of their fleet into electric by 2026.
Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank’s Vision Fund has over $100 billion in committed capital for tech investments.
Last month, at a general shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo, Son had said SoftBank Vision Fund aims to accelerate the “information revolution” by continuously making large-scale and long-terms investments in companies aiming to notice next-gen innovations and platform business.
“Artificial intelligence, I think is the biggest revolution in human history,” said Son.
Masayoshi Son also said SoftBank’s role is not to develop AI technologies such as autonomous driving but he wants his portfolio companies such as Uber, DiDi, Grab and Ola to develop them.