The Softbank-backed ride-hailing giant Ola’s valuation was slashed down by the US-based investment firm Vanguard Group to USD 3 billion from around USD 6.5 million in 2019.
Between December 31, 2019, and June 30, 2020, Vanguard marked down its shareholding value by 45% in dollar terms, said a report by Capital Quest. With that, Ola’s valuation plummeted to USD 3.3 billion, it added.
At the time, Ola’s revenues had plunged around 95% due to a nationwide lockdown imposed in the country to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. This drove Ola to do severe cost-cutting and lay off almost 1,400 people.
The fund has recently brought down the value of its investment yet again by another 9.5% in dollar terms, which implies Ola’s valuation is around USD 3 billion.
Vanguard Group came onboard Ola’s cap table in 2015 and is a minority investor with less than 1% stake in the firm. This is not the first time, the investment firm has marked down Ola’s valuation. In 2017, Vanguard cut down its valuation by 41% in 2017, only to mark it up in subsequent months.
This comes at a time when India’s mobility segment–one of the hardest-hit segments during the pandemic–that includes cabs, auto-rickshaws, and bike taxis, is recovering fast. According to a recent report by consulting firm RedSeer, in January this year, the sector recorded 71 million trips worth USD 164 million in the world’s second-most-populous country. This marked a 63% recovery in the value and volume of rides from pre-pandemic levels, it said.
Meanwhile, Ola has been sharpening its focus on manufacturing electric vehicles. In a media meet last week, the company said it is looking to produce 10 million e-scooters every year, making it the largest two-wheeler maker globally. Ola Electric, the EV arm of Ola, is looking at starting EV production as early as June, local media Mint reported.
The company wants to own the entire value chain—from engineering to manufacturing and selling EVs—beginning with electric scooters, the Mint report added.