India’s ridesharing leader Ola announced today it has raised $1.1 billion in a round led by Tencent and SoftBank as the company seeks to put more distance between itself and Silicon Valley’s Uber.
In addition, the company said it was in talks with other investors that it hopes will lead to an additional $1 billion of capital. The company had previously raised closed to $4 billion in financing, giving it a massive war chest at a time when Uber is still trying to recover from tumultuous leadership changes and embarrassingly public in-fighting among its board.
“We are thrilled to have Tencent Holdings join us as new partners in our mission to build mobility for a billion Indians,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola, in a statement. “The transportation and mobility industries are seeing huge changes globally. Our ambition is to build a globally competitive and futuristic transportation system in India that will support and accelerate a nation on the move.”
Ola noted it now operates in 110 cities and focuses exclusively on its home market. It’s embraced a wide range of vehicles to offer ridesharing, including rickshaws, bikes, up to standard cars. It’s also been investing heavily in its Ola Play platform to create new experiences during the ride.
The company said the new financing will allow it continue investing in its tech and product development. Those include a greater focus on AI and machine learning to power its system. The money will also be used to expand marketing and continue attracting more drivers.