Bhavish Aggarwal declines SoftBank’s $1.1 Billion funding for Ola

Key Highlights

Bhavish Aggarwal refuses SoftBank’s $1.1 Million funding in Ola to maintain his major stake in the firm.

Ola recently raised $300million from Hyundai Motor Co. and about $90 million from Sachin Bansal.

SoftBank acquires major stakes in Uber Technologies Inc by investing $9B Billion in it.

The 21st era is a heroic era of innovation. Day by day innovative minded entrepreneurs and target focused startups having the valor to bring a revolution in the technological scenario are emerging in the market. Raising funds is an important parameter for growth of any startup and this initiates with seed round of funding followed by Series A, B…….H, I, K rounds before going public and by each and every round investor acquires percentage of stake in the company and thus % of share of cofounders drops down with each fundraising round. Same is happening with Indian ride-hailing Unicorn Ola.  It has till now completed its Series J funding round and is targeting towards series K funding round which is normally not heard by researchers.

Since 2017 Japanese Conglomerate SoftBank has proposed a $250 Million immediate funding followed by $1.1 Million funding in Ola. By these huge funds, it is targeting to acquire more than 40% stake in the company but Bhavish Aggarwal co-founder of Ola has declined SoftBank’s this proposal to maintain his major stake in the firm. Aggrawal took this step because it has observed how gradually by every major Investment SoftBank acquired major stakes in Uber Technologies Inc by investing $9B Billion in it.

Ola is trying hard to give tough competition to its rival Uber by raising $300 million from Hyundai Motor Co. and about $90 million investment from Sachin Bansal, the co-founder of Flipkart Online Services Pvt.

According to Mohandas Pai, venture capitalist and former chief financial officer of Infosys Ltd. Bhavish is reprobating SoftBank money as he doesn’t want to get diluted out of Ola. A person familiar with the matter said Aggarwal escapes gatherings with Masayoshi Son and his portfolio companies when he visits India. 

SoftBank initiated investing in the e-commerce startup approx five years ago and then plunked its efforts to force the founders to sell out to a larger rival, Flipkart. When Snapdeal refused the deal, Son switched allegiances by ceasing further investment in the company and put $2.5 billion into Flipkart. 

Ola came into existence in 2011 by a brand name of ANI Technologies Pvt. The firm was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. It has 1.3 Million drivers and is operational in variously cities of India and Australia, New Zealand the U.K. 

Masayoshi Son was an early master of local ride-hailing startups in Asia. He backed Anthony Tan’s Grab in Southeast Asia and Cheng Wei’s Didi Chuxing in China, in addition to first investing in Ola in 2014. As of now, Aggrawal is trying to ignore to raise funds from SoftBank.

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Priya Singh

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