Ola Electric Raises $250 Million from SoftBank

The recent funding values the company at over $1 billion


Ola Electric Mobility (OEM), a company backed by Ola, has raised ₹17.25 billion (~$250 million) from Tokyo-based SoftBank.

SoftBank’s Cayman’s Islands entity, SB Topaz (Cayman) Ltd was allotted 4,326 compulsorily convertible preference shares in Ola Electric Mobility at a premium rate of ₹39,876,08.54 (~$3.98 million). The face value of the share is ₹10 (~$0.14), according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies reviewed by Mercom.

Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder & CEO of Ola, tweeted about the partnership between Ola and SoftBank, saying:

Celebrating 5 years of strong partnership, looking forward to the years ahead! I’m personally inspired by @masason vision for the future of humanity. Very excited about our partnership to build Mobility & Electric Mobility for India and the world! @SoftBank @Olacabs @OlaElectric pic.twitter.com/JwJDvFKeg4

— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) July 2, 2019


According to the company’s spokesperson, the latest funding has enabled Ola Electric Mobility to acquire the status of a unicorn, which is considered to be a coveted club of privately-held startups valued at over $1 billion (~$14 million).

This transaction is part of the company’s series B funding round.  As part of its series A funding earlier this year, the company had raised a sum of ₹400 billion (~$56.4 million) led by several of Ola’s early investors, like Tiger Global and Matrix India and others.

Currently, Ola has taken up several pilot projects on electric vehicles. Ola Electric Mobility was initially established to enable Ola’s electric mobility pilot program in Nagpur.

In 2018, Ola announced its ‘Mission: Electric.’ The goal of this mission was to bring one million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022. Ola Electric is currently running pilots to deploy electric vehicles and charging solutions, including battery swapping stations, electric 2-wheeler, and 3-wheeler services, among others.

The Ola Mobility Institute’s report released earlier this year emphasized it would make good business sense to focus on developing EVs in the highest demand and utility sectors in the Indian vehicle market for two-wheelers and three-wheelers. The report added that there is more compelling economics in choosing EVs over private cars for commercial and public transport systems.

Moreover, in another positive news for the EV ecosystem of the country, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) recently proposed to relieve electric and battery-operated vehicles from registration charges. The move comes at a time when the government is undertaking initiatives to chalk out a plan for a smoother transition to electric vehicles.

Image credit: Ola