Ola App’s Bhavish Aggarwal Turned Down A Billion-Dollar Deal

Key Highlights

Ola to raise his stake to more than 40%

Aggarwal is setting up together smaller pieces of investment from bent backers

Ola refuses there is a fault with the Japanese company

OLA is one of India’s most successful start-ups. The company was started on 3rd December 2010 by IIT Bombay graduates, Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. Once a member of Microsoft Bhavish Aggarwal worked there for two years after graduation. Later Bhavesh quit Microsoft to start an online company and sell short duration tours and holidays online. 

Bhavish Aggarwal is contesting to continue his liberty against the Japanese multinational firm ‘SoftBank Group Corp’. SoftBank is head by Masayoshi Son, was one of the early backers of Ola, but Aggarwal has expanded concerned about its impact as SoftBank took a stake in his competitor, Uber Technologies Inc., and then uplift the challenger to amalgamate.

Soon struck an initial deal to set an additional $1.1 billion (INR 7635 crore) toward Ola to raise his stake to more than 40%, according to people familiar with the matter. However, Aggarwal attempt to incorporate terms to assure his power over the startup, and the deal eventually break down, said the people, who query not to be recognized since the affair is private. Rather, Aggarwal is setting up together smaller pieces of investment from bent backers. This year itself, he received $300 million (INR 2082 crore) from South Korean Manufacturer Hyundai Motor Co. and about $90 million (INR 624.5 crore) investment from the co-founder of Flipkart’s co-founder, Sachin Bansal.

“Bhavesh is refusing SoftBank money as he doesn’t desire to get diluted out of Ola. Founders become employees when someone to have held on your board and advise you how to run the game,” said Mohandas Pai, venture capitalist, and former chief financial officer of Infosys Ltd

“We like a friendly relationship with all our portfolio firms, including Ola. Further on, we don’t comment on particular individuals and internal issues.” said a SoftBank spokeswoman.

Ola refuses there is a fault with the Japanese company, “Softbank has been a prominent partner for us as we’ve expanded our business. There are so many appearing partnerships with SoftBank that we forecast in the years to come, as we on-going to construct a global potency business out of India.” a spokesman for the company said in a statement. 

Aggarwal avoids gatherings with Son and his portfolio companies when he tours India. Aggarwal missed from an event of SoftBank-backed founders when a deputation with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was a few weeks ago. Saudi Arabia provided almost half of the capital for Son’s $100 billion Vision Fund. Aggarwal has said he refused SoftBank request only because he does not visit New Delhi, according to reports.

Aggarwal has also visited the founders of Snapdeal, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, for guidance on leading SoftBank. SoftBank made its investment into the e-commerce startup nearly five years ago and then attempted to encourage the founders to sell out to a bigger competitor, Flipkart. Just after Snapdeal declined the deal, Son changed allegiances by ceasing further investment in the firm and put $2.5 billion (INR 17350 crore) into Flipkart.

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Rajat Mehrotra

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