Indian Multinational Ridesharing Company Ola To Acquire Financial Services Startup Avail Finance

Late on Thursday, Ride-hailing giant Ola announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Avail Finance as it plans to expand its financial services offerings.

Avail Finance is a financial services startup targeting the blue-collar workforce. Valued at $86.6 million, the financial services startup has raised about $38.5 million which includes $4.5 million in venture debt, from multiple financing rounds.

Avail Finance provides a neo banking platform for the blue-collared workforce with the aim of including every credit-worthy individual under the financial umbrella. The platform is active in more than 45 cities, is available in eight languages and has more than 30 lakh users, according to its website. It was founded by Ankush Aggarwal.

Ola’s co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal is the brother of Ankush who founded Avail Finance. Together, Ola and Avail Finance share backers including Matrix Partners and Alpha Wave Global as common investors.

The deal between Ola and Avail Finance is subject to the approval of shareholders and once this required approval is received, the deal can be completed.

According to what Ola said, the acquisition of Avail Finance will “strengthen its play in the credit underserved segments that comprise blue-collar workers such as Ola’s driver-partner ecosystem.” Via Avail Finance, Ola could sell its drivers financial products, for instance.

Ola says it has made an investment of over 4100 million into its financial services venture adding that its investment is already bearing fruit as it is showing “showing strong growth across both its lending and insurance verticals,” adding that “Ola Postpaid, its BNPL offering, is available to 40 million customers, its vehicle financing business is growing rapidly in conjunction with Ola Electric as well as Ola Cars, its used cars business. With Insurance, Ola has built a first-of-its-kind embedded motor insurance journey for Ola Electric and Ola Cars, where customers can seamlessly select Insurance; and add ons like roadside assistance or zero depreciation within the buying journey.”

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