Ola, India's Ride-Hailing Leader, Raises $1.1 Billion to Fight Uber

Ola, India's Ride-Hailing Leader, Raises $1.1 Billion to Fight Uber

It also said it would invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, which includes technologies like its in-car entertainment platform called Play that allows riders to choose music and stream videos.

Ola, which is based in Bangalore, in southern India, said it planned to use the new funds to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to tackle projects such as predicting where and when a regular customer might need a vehicle.

Uber only operates in about two dozen cities throughout India.

The massive funding comes just months after home-grown e-commerce major Flipkart raised $1.4 billion, the single largest funding round by any Indian internet firm.

"We are thrilled to have Tencent Holdings join us as new partners in our mission to build mobility for a billion Indians".

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"As the transportation and mobility sectors are undergoing changes globally, we want to build a competitive system to support a nation on the move", noted Aggarwal.

"Ola's unique local offerings are tailored to India's burgeoning transportation needs".

While ANI Technologies is not a publicly-traded company, according to regulatory documents, its revenues registered a stellar growth at Rs 758.23 crore during 2015-16 compared to Rs 103.77 crore in the previous fiscal. Notably, this is the biggest funding round for Ola so far, which has been in work for about a year. Ola says that it is developing sustainable transportation solutions in the interest of solving long-term problems around congestion and pollution. The strategic partnership with Ola makes it possible for Tencent to be part of the fast-growing ride-hailing space in the country. Tencent, for example, has invested in similar start-ups to Ola such as Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek. The ride-hailing company is also spending heavily on a program to buy vehicles and lease them to drivers, and it is experimenting with electric cars in some cities.

Separately, Reuters reported citing Meru Cabs' CEO Nilesh Sangoi that the firm had filed four new complaints with the Competition Commission of India, claiming that Uber and Ola were abusing their dominance in four cities by burning vast sums of investor funds to distort the market.

Founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in January 2011, Ola is now present in 110 cities across the country.

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