Hyundai, Kia to in­vest in Ola Elec­tric

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

Ben­galuru: Ola Elec­tric Mo­bil­ity, an arm of the ride­hail­ing ma­jor, will raise cap­i­tal from South Korean au­to­mo­tive gi­ants Hyundai and Kia, ac­cord­ing to a fil­ing with an­titrust watch­dog Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion of In­dia (CCI). The de­tails of the trans­ac­tions could not be as­cer­tained but it comes after Hyundai and Kia in­vested $300 mil­lion in Ola’s par­ent com­pany, ANI Tech­nolo­gies, ear­lier this year and both the deals are linked, ac­cord­ing to the fil­ing.

An emailed query sent to Ola and Hyundai spokesper­sons did not elicit a re­sponse at the time of go­ing to press. The de­vel­op­ment comes at a time when the gov­ern­ment has been push­ing for a tran­si­tion to elec­tric ve­hi­cles even as over­all auto sales have been plung­ing.

Once the deal closes, it will be the third in­vest­ment by Hyundai in au­to­mo­tive star­tups as it picked up a stake in Delhi-based self-drive car rental startup Revv in Au­gust last year.

The deal also comes after Ola Elec­tric Mo­bil­ity saw its val­u­a­tion jump to $960 mil­lion in July from $250 mil­lion in Fe­bru­ary when it raised cap­i­tal from Softbank Vision Fund. Other in­vestors in Ola Elec­tric in­clude Tiger Global, Ma­trix Part­ners In­dia and for­mer Voda­fone CEO Arun Sarin tak­ing the to­tal cap­i­tal raised by it to about $300 mil­lion. Softbank, Ma­trix and Tiger are also in­vestors in par­ent com­pany Ola.

Ola Elec­tric is be­ing headed by Anand Shah, a for­mer BMW, and Audi ex­ec­u­tive, who joined the par­ent last year along with Ankit Jain, who was head­ing the con­nected car ini­tia­tive in­clud­ing, Ola Play. The ini­tial fo­cus of the com­pany will be on the charging in­fra­struc­ture for elec­tric ve­hi­cles, where it is fo­cus­ing on swap­pable bat­ter­ies and two and three-wheel­ers.

The com­pany was reg­is­tered in 2017 for Ola’s elec­tric mo­bil­ity pi­lot pro­gram in Nag­pur. The com­pany last year had said that it will put 10,000 elec­tric auto-rick­shaws on its plat­form in the next 12 months as a part of its ‘Mis­sion Elec­tric’ to launch 1 mil­lion elec­tric ve­hi­cles on its plat­form by 2021.

Ola Elec­tric Mo­bil­ity is by far the most well-funded star­tups in the space after elec­tric scooter startup Ather En­ergy, which has raised about $111 mil­lion from Hero Mo­toCorp, Tiger Global and Flip­kart co-founder Sachin Bansal.

GET­TING CHARGED

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