Tencent, the Chinese Internet major, is expected to lay one of its most important bets in India since it closed in on an investment worth $400 Million (more than Rs 2,500 Crore). The tech major invested in Ola, the home-based ride-hailing startup. Two sources having deep knowledge of this matter said to the media in an interview.
The fund from Tencent will provide Ola with the much-required firepower. Ola has been on a capital-raising trail from past one year. It has been wishing to get on board a huge investor to offset dominance of SoftBank as the biggest stakeholder in the company. This will be the largest fund lifted by Ola in almost 2 Years, since it cleaned $500 Million from the likes of GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore; Didi Chuxing, the largest taxi aggregator in China; and Baillie Gifford, the Scottish investment fund in 2015.
Tencent, a sponsor in Didi Chuxing, has been the most late-stage active investor in India in 2017 after it took a bet on Flipkart in a $1.4 Billion round of funding. It recently also supported Hike, the messaging app, and Byju’s, the online education platform, said the sources.
To add to the problem faced by Ola, earlier this month, the City Taxi Scheme, 2017, the summary of which is being finalized by the transport department of Delhi Government, was expected to prohibit Ola service since it is not permitted legally. Even though the summary scheme is still being finalized, officials of transport department are certain that sharing a ride might not be permitted.
Taxis in Delhi run on agreement carriage basis, which permit them to be allocated from 1 point to another. This indicates that cabs cannot drop or pick up various customers. Only cars with a permit of stage carriage, for example public buses, are permitted to drop as well as pick customers at various points.
Apart from prohibiting sharing of ride, the upcoming latest scheme will put a ban on the number of vehicles that can be employed by an operator and the utmost cost that can be billed to the passengers.