Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal may reportedly sit on the board of taxi-hailing app company Ola Cabs after announcing the completion of Rs 650 crore investment. Ola has confirmed the $92-million investment, which is by far the largest in the company by an individual investor.
Bansal, who left Flipkart last year along with co-founder Binny Bansal following a $16 billion buyout by global retail giant Walmart, had invested the first tranche of Rs 150 crore in Ola Cabs last month.
The investment forms part of Ola's Series J funding round that values the Bengaluru firm at around $6.5 billion, the report on the Business Standard website says citing unidentified sources. They confirmed that with this investment, Bansal would be given a board seat in Ola.
The investment, the report says, will boost the Bhavish Aggarwal-co-founded firm's battle against global giant Uber, which is increasing market share in India.
An official note of Ola Cabs quoted Bansal as saying: "I have known Bhavish as an entrepreneur and as a friend over these years, and I have great respect for what he and the team at Ola have built in just eight years."
"I am personally thrilled to be part of the Ola journey and I look forward to contributing to their success," said Bansal, who along with Aggarwal had pushed for policies that protect domestic companies against global competition. The shared the view that global giants like Amazon and Uber were "dumping capital" to win customers in India.
However, media reported last year that US retail giant Walmart's $16 billion investment in Flipkart for buying out about 77 per cent stake prepared the ground of the exit of the co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (no relation) making them billionaires.
Sachin Bansal has made investments in many start-ups, apart from Ola. They include electric vehicle maker Ather Energy and artificial intelligence-based medical diagnosis technology developer SigTuple.
Bansal has reportedly said of the investment in Ola that the ride-hailing company had emerged as a global force in the mobility space. It also continued to build deeper to meet various needs of a billion Indians, he added.
"I personally look forward to learning from Sachin's journey, his mentorship and guidance, as we look to build one of the most impactful global businesses out of India," the report quoted Bhavish Aggarwal, chief executive officer at Ola, as saying.
Ola Cabs, founded in 2010 by IIT-Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, has raised an estimated $3.4 billion over 19 rounds from global investors, including SoftBank, Accel, and Tiger Global Management. Ola taxi-hailing app is available in 125 cities and has the affiliation of over a million drivers.