Indian ride-sharing company Ola is planning to secure up to $1 billion through an Initial Public Offering. Reportedly, the firm is finalizing the banks that will advise on its fundraising and has already brought on board Citigroup, Kotak Mahindra and Morgan Stanley. The company is also said to be in talks with Bank of America and investment bank JP Morgan. Ola’s founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, said that the company planned to go public next year and was still deciding on a final date.
Founded in 2010, Ola holds a majority share of India’s ride-hailing market. While most of Ola’s operations are in India, the company also has expanded its ride-hailing services available in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, where it has a growing presence. In January 2018, Ola extended into its first overseas market, Australia, and in New Zealand in September 2018. It began operations in the United Kingdom in March 2019, introducing auto rickshaws. In February 2020, Ola launched its taxi-hailing services with over 25,000 drivers registered.
The company however took a hit during the pandemic and had to cut its workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic forced kept most people at home for extended periods.
The SoftBank-backed firm joins the list of Indian tech startups planning to go public. Last month, food delivery firm Zomato, backed by China’s Ant Group, made its stock market debut. Digital payments start-up Paytm announced its plan to raise 166 billion rupees ($2.22 billion) in an initial public offering, and online insurer PolicyBazaar filed for an initial public offering to raise over $800 million. Reports also have it that e-commerce company Flipkart, amongst others, is also exploring listing options.
In July, Plum Wood Investment, an affiliate of global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, and Singapore state investor Temasek invested $500 million into the Ola, ahead of the company’s planned initial public offering.
Based in Bangalore, India, the multinational transportation network company offers services that include vehicles for hire and food delivery. The company, however, happens to not be the only company in the game. Ola competes with companies such as DiDi Global, Grab, Meru Cabs, Careem, and American technology giant, Uber.