Companies & Sectors
Ola raises $500 million to fund expansion
Leading mobile application-based cab service provider Ola has announced raising $500 million (Rs.3,306 crore) to fund its expansion plans in India, including capacity building.
 
"The fresh investment will be used to fuel supply initiatives, capacity building and newer use cases," the company said in a statement here.
 
The sixth (series F) round of funding was led by venture firm Baillie Gifford and other venture firms Falcon Edge, Tiger Global, SoftBank group and DST Global participated.
 
"The additional funds will help us to spur growth and build mobility for a billion people," Ola co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal said. 
 
With a million bookings a day and 350,000 cars on its rolls, the Mumbai-based Ola operates in 102 cities across the country, offering cab services with incentives.
 
"We will also focus on building the ecosystem for our driver-entrepreneurs and enable more drivers to grow as entrepreneurs," Aggarwal asserted.
 
With the latest funding, the hi-tech-driven firm has cumulatively raised $1.3 billion so far, with $400 million in fifth round (series E) from DST and other venture partners in April, $210 million in fourth round (series D) from SoftBank and others in October 2014.
 
Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Accel Partners US and Falcon Edge are among its early investors.
 
According to a recent mobile intelligence study, the company's mobile applications (apps) are used by 78 percent of its customers across the country, including tier-two and tier-three cities.
 
Some of the apps are named Ola Share, Ola Prime and Ola Money and its options are 'Kaali-Peeli' taxis in Mumbai, auto rickshaws in six cities and yellow taxis in Kolkata.
 
"Our Ola Share app is on beta testing in Bengaluru for social ride-sharing option within their groups of choice," Aggarwal noted.
 
Aggarwal co-founded Ola with fellow IITian Ankit Bhati in January 2011, with an app to integrate city transportation for customers and drivers on a technology platform.
 
The apps are available on Windows, Android and iOS platforms for downloading.
 
Ola acquired Bengaluru-based cab aggregator TaxiForSure for $200 million (Rs.1,238 crore) in a cash and equity deal in March this year from its co-founders A. Radhakrishna and G. Raghunandan.
 
TaxiForSure operates in 50 cities across the country with 25,000 cabs registered on its platform as an aggregator.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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RAMKUMAR

1 year ago

i will join the any group in our wab size

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Citizens must protest if they wish to retain control of open spaces in Mumbai
Bombay Municipal Corporation appears to believe that the open spaces in Mumbai are orphans and hence should be given away on adoption or caretaker basis
 
We have heard of adoption of orphans. On an adoption being completed the parents have the same rights as a normal parent and also effective control. Bombay Municipal Corporation appears to believe that the open spaces in Mumbai are orphans and hence should be given away on adoption or caretaker basis. This corrupt idea was mooted a few years back and since there was a public outcry its implementation was stopped. It is claimed that BMC wants public participation in the maintenance of open spaces. This ‘policy’ of depriving citizens of their rights on open spaces and creating private rights on them is again being revived with some cosmetic changes. Senior BMC officials admit that the corporation has adequate funds to maintain the open spaces, but it was mooting the ‘adoption policy’ to get citizen’s participation.  I would like to recall one earlier experience of this nature:
 
Papers obtained my me under RTI (in 2005) showed that the first agreement with Matoshri Club in March  1996 was given for 5 years for the 5 acre plot at CTS 190B. The agreement to take care of the open space allowed nothing except two boards no more than 2.5 ft. by 10 inches to be put up on the Ground. It stated that no structure of permanent nature will be put up. Subsequently on 13 December, 1996 an agreement was signed permitting a construction of 50% of the plot for Gymkhana and Swimming pool! Now it is a full scale private club. Numerous clubs have come up like this on public land which has been given away to some private interests.
 
There are a few cases of really well-meaning citizens having taken charge of open spaces and with their own funds managing them for public good. But even in these cases institutionally a major flaw is that open spaces are effectively being put in charge of private bodies, which may not have the same altruistic organisers for all time to come. Estimates show that the BMC would need less than 200 crores annually to meet the expenses of sprucing up and maintaining these open spaces. BMC with an annual budget of Rs32,000 crore has a provision of Rs200 crore for maintaining various grounds and gardens, which it is not utilising. If BMC is really keen on getting public participation it could encourage citizen’s groups to do social audit and monitoring of these grounds and also take their help in designing the facilities. The BMC’s intentions are clear when one looks at the evaluation criterion for selecting those who wish to adopt the open spaces. One of them gives preference to organisations which have turnover of Rs5 crore! The intentions are obvious. This is one more attempt to alienate citizens from their open spaces. The opposition in the Corporation has strongly opposed this new policy. Citizens must protest if they wish to retain control of these open spaces. It is obvious that there is a corrupt motive motivating this ‘policy’. Citizens should take a strong position by organising meetings and interacting with the elected representatives. We should ask them to explain their actions which are not in the interest of public. If they do not listen to our voice and continue on this nefarious path, we should vow to teach them an appropriate lesson in the next BMC election.
 
(Shailesh Gandhi served as Central Information Commissioner under the RTI Act, 2005, during 18 September 2008 to 6 July 2012. He is a graduate in Civil Engineering from IIT-Bombay. Before becoming a full time RTI activist in 2003, he sold his packaging business. In 2008, he was conferred the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Award for civil liberties.)

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Silloo Marker

1 year ago

Completely agree with Shailesh Gandhi. As citizens, we have a stake in our city. Bombay (or Mumbai, if you will) is already so deprived of open spaces, we need to react strongly to any move to give any of the scarce open spaces under any policy. The caretaker policy actually made it officially possible to construct on 20% of the open space by the caretaker. This was strongly opposed (by the NGO, NAGAR, for example, very involved in the protection of open spaces) and has been thankfully suspended. For a municipal corporation as wealthy as the Bombay Municipal Corporation, there is absolutely no need to give any open space to anyone, even under the scheme of adoption. The price of keeping your open spaces open and free for all citizens is eternal vigilance. There are citizens who have managed to save whatever open space they have in their area by using the Right to Information Act to find out their current status and react fast when required. There are even some alert citizens (like the Mahiti Adhikar Manch) who are now doing social audits of the public money spent by the BMC on maintenance of open spaces given to contractors who generally pocket huge amounts and do almost nothing more about maintenance once they have the contract. Like Shailesh Gandhi, they use the RTI very effectively and help others to do the same in their own areas.

manoharlalsharma

1 year ago

Citizens must protest if they wish to retain control of open spaces in Mumbai./ who has time to do such social things? and suppose do ing some one get support at large like JAN LOKPAL what has been achieved? worthless thought.

Jyoti Dua

1 year ago

All ready very limited open spaces available in Mumbai are very critical for the environment, and public health. These should not be handed over to private sector. However, an area co-operative society supported by a corporate ( with advertising rights only) can be considered for up keep of various open spaces.

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