Ola’s Electric Mobility Unit Raises Significant Funding And A Major Deal With Hyundai May Be Coming

By Amit Chowdhry ● March 8, 2019

Indian ride-hailing company Ola recently spun out its electric mobility unit into a business called Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd.

Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd. Raises 400 Crores

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Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd. recently announced that it raised 400 crores (4 billion Indian rupees / $55-$60 million USD) led by several of Ola’s early investors like Tiger Global and Matrix India. This is the first investment in Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd.

The investment in Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd. was announced one day after the Indian government approved the second phase of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME II) with a budget of $1.4 billion over three years to subsidize electric and hybrid vehicle sales in order to combat pollution and reduce fossil fuel dependency.

“We couldn’t be more excited in repeating our successful early partnership with Ola, with our investment in Ola Electric Mobility. Ola’s vision about the role of electric mobility, especially in India for sustainable development, and the approach to making it work at scale is unique. We are privileged to be a partner on this journey!” exclaimed Matrix India founder and managing director Avnish Bajaj.

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Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd. will be led by Anand Shah (SVP at Ola and former executive at BMW’s MINI division and Audi AG) and Ankit Jain (VP at Ola and former engagement manager at McKinsey & Company).

“The first problem to solve in electric mobility is charging: users need a dependable, convenient, and affordable replacement for the petrol pump. By making electric easy for commercial vehicles that deliver a disproportionate share of kilometers traveled, we can jumpstart the electric vehicle revolution,” said Shah.

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Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd. was initially created to roll out Ola’s electric mobility pilot program in Nagpur, India. And Ola announced an initiative called ‘Mission: Electric’  last year with a goal to bring 1 million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022.

Currently, Ola Electric is running several pilots for deploying electric vehicles and charging solutions such as battery swapping stations, electric 2-wheeler, and 3-wheeler services.

“At Ola Electric, our mission is to enable sustainable mobility for everyone. India can leapfrog problems of pollution and energy security by moving to electric mobility, create millions of new jobs and economic opportunity, and lead the world.” added Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal. “I’m excited to partner with Lee and Avnish again, and look forward to recreating a very successful partnership and a transformative business!”

Ola Electric is already partnered with several OEMs and battery manufacturers to drive its goals. And the company is intending to work closely with a number of companies in the automotive industry to create seamless solutions for electric vehicle operations.

“We are excited to invest in Ola Electric Mobility, which we believe is the early front-runner in this space and well-positioned to build the ecosystem for electric mobility. As Ola’s first institutional investors, we are excited to begin this new journey with Ola Electric and partner in creating yet another impactful mobility business,” explained Tiger Global partner Lee Fixel.

Rumor About Hyundai Investment

According to Entrackr’s sources, Hyundai is reportedly planning to make a big investment in Ola soon as well. The deal — which is expected to happen in the next few weeks — would involve Hyundai investing up to $300 million in Ola.

If Hyundai’s investment in Ola is true, then it would be another aggressive move that the Korean automaker made in ride-hailing businesses this past year. In November, it was reported that Hyundai invested $250 million in Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab.

There are also rumors that Ola has been diversifying its investor pool to prevent Japanese investment company SoftBank from increasing its stake to more than the current 26%. Last month, Ola revealed Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal led a round of 650 crores in Ola as part of the Series J.