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A Flipkart co-founder is backing Ola with $21 million

Bhavish-Aggarwal-Ola-Flipkart-Sachin-Bansal
Reuters/Abhishek N Chinnappa and EPA/Jagadeesh NV
Joining forces.
This article is more than 2 years old.

India’s largest homegrown ride-hailing venture, Ola, has found a new backer in one of the country’s most celebrated entrepreneurs, Sachin Bansal.

The Flipkart co-founder has invested $21 million (Rs150 crore) in Bengaluru-based Ola, according to filings with the registrar of companies, sourced from business intelligence platform Paper.vc.

The funding comes just three days after existing investor Steadview Capital infused $74 million in Ola.

Bansal, along with IIT-Delhi friend Binny Bansal, launched e-commerce portal Flipkart in 2007. Last year, when American retailer Walmart acquired Flipkart, Sachin Bansal sold his entire 5.5% stake for an estimated between $800 million (Rs5,381 crore) and $850 million (Rs5,717 crore).

In October, the 37-year-old had reportedly committed an investment of $100 million in Ola.

The investment isn’t much of a surprise as the Bansal duo and Ola’s co-founders have worked together in the past. Sachin Bansal and Aggarwal had also joined hands in 2016 to lobby with the government against their global rivals, Amazon and Uber, voicing concerns of a non-level playing field. They also set up an industry body, IndiaTech.org, to represent local internet companies.

The successive rounds of funding raised by Ola will help the company battle it out with its nearest rival Uber. Ola has already started deploying funds for its international expansion into Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Bansal’s investment is possibly part of $1 billion additional funding that Ola is trying to raise, a company source told Quartz, requesting anonymity. In January 2018, Ola had raised $1.1 billion from Tencent Holdings and existing investor SoftBank. The company had indicated that it was in talks to raise an additional $1 billion.

Ola did not respond to an email from Quartz.

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