Ola Cabs Raises Rs 2,500 Crore To Expand Into Smaller Cities, Widen Services

16/04/2015 1:28 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Indian commuters and taxi drivers navigate through heavy traffic on Howrah Bridge in Kolkata on November 7, 2014, where Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan is shooting scenes for the film 'Piku'. Bachchan is shooting scenes in the eastern Indian city for the forthcoming film 'Piku' directed by Sujit Sarkar, with Deepika Padukone and Irrfan Khan also taking part. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Ola Cabs, the app-based taxi aggregator, on Wednesday said it has raised $400 million (about Rs 2,500 crore) in an investment round led by DST Global, as it seeks to expand into smaller cities in India where there are few organised cab operators.

After this round, the firm has raised close to $800 million. In October, it had raised $210 million from a group of investors led by Japan's SoftBank.

The firm intends to utilise the funds to expand to 200 cities from 100 by year-end as well as ramp up its technology base.

There are also plans to invest on increasing its base of cab drivers and retaining them with various schemes.

In a statement, Ola said it has raised $400 million in Series E round of funding led by DST Global with participation from GIC, Falcon Edge Capital and existing investors SoftBank Group, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital and Accel Partners US.

"Ola has expanded to 100 cities in the current year from 10 cities a year ago and this growth has been further accelerated with the acquisition of TaxiForSure in March 2015", the company said.

"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 & 3 cities owing to very limited transportation options that currently exist", the firm said.

"There is a large opportunity waiting to be unlocked to transform the ecosystem from within", it added. Ola will also invest in its technology platform that powers its cab-booking app. It will also further expand its offerings for other on-demand services, a spokesperson told HuffPost. Ola has already branched out into food delivery.

Through 'Ola Pragati' in partnership with the State Bank of India, drivers can now avail of a daily loan repayment facility and a lower down payment to buy a car of their choice. Ola aims to offer this programme to over 1,00,000 driver entrepreneurs across India within the next 2 years. It is also experimenting with instant food delivery with OlaCaf, currently available in beta across four cities.

(With agency inputs)

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