Indian online ride-hailing company Ola has secured US$50 million in financing from Hong Kong private equity firm Sailing Capital and state-backed fund China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund (CECCF) with the deal valuing the company at US$4.3 billion, according to Live Mint.
This is not the first time Ola is raising money from Chinese companies. To date, it has raised more than US$2.5 billion since being founded in 2010, of which at least US$1.1 billion can be attributed to Chinese social media and entertainment giant Tencent as well as Chinese ride-hailing leader Didi Chuxing, speaking to the trend that Chinese tech unicorns like Meituan and Didi now are looking to the rest of Asia to sustain their growth given a competitive and slow-growing domestic market.
Aside from battling Uber in the ride-hailing space in India, it has started exploring other verticals as well as geographical markets. In December 2017, it acquired Foodpanda’s India business in a bid to garner market share in the food delivery space. It has also launched its primary ride-hailing services in Australia earlier this year, and recently in South Wales of the UK as well as New Zealand: all markets where Uber is still a dominating force.
- Uber has been having a tough time operating in different parts of Asia. First, it was ejected out of China with Didi buying out its mainland operations. Then, it swiftly exited Southeast Asia this year after Grab bought its operations in this region. This leaves India, which is a massive market home to over 1.3 billion people, where it is battling Ola in the midst of the latter gearing up its war chest with new funds.
- Not only does Uber need to reckon with Ola in India, it now has to worry about the Indian ride-hailing player competing with it in overseas markets like Australia, UK and New Zealand.
Editor: Ben Jiang