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Ola Raising $500 Million as It Moves Toward Stock-Market Debut

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(Bloomberg) -- Indian ride-hailing startup Ola said it’s raising $500 million from investors including Temasek Holdings Pte and an affiliate of Warburg Pincus LLC ahead of a planned initial public offering.The round is among the largest investments in the consumer internet segment in India by the investors, the Uber Technologies Inc. rival said in a statement on Friday. Ola hasn’t made a decision regarding the timing of its IPO, a company representative said. The company said it will continue to expand across geographies and categories.

India’s consumer internet companies are growing at a rapid clip, captivating global investors who are pouring billions of dollars into startups big and small. While ride-hailing has been hit by the pandemic, Ola said its business has rebounded as restrictions have eased.“Over the last 12 months we’ve made our ride-hailing business more robust, resilient and efficient,” founder Bhavish Aggarwal, also the group’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement. “With strong recovery post lockdown and a shift in consumer preference away from public transportation, we are well positioned to capitalize on the various urban mobility needs of our customers.”Aggarwal also participated in the funding round. Ola’s other backers include SoftBank Group Corp. and Tiger Global Management.

Bangalore-based Ola, whose parent is ANI Technologies Pvt, also offers rides in Australia, the U.K and New Zealand and has more than a million drivers in over 100 cities on its platform. The startup was founded by Aggarwal and his classmate Ankit Bhati, who both studied at Indian Institute of Technology, the country’s leading engineering school.

Aggarwal’s other startup, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt, is getting ready to unveil and start the sales of an electric scooter built at the company’s factory just outside Bangalore, the world’s largest such facility. Aggarwal had announced that the first scooters would roll off production lines in June, but a brutal second wave of the pandemic during the past months has disrupted and delayed the plan by weeks.

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