Hyundai, Kia to invest in Ola Electric

The details of the transactions could not be ascertained but it comes after Hyundai and Kia invested $300 million in Ola’s parent company

OLA Electric charging station

Ola Electric Mobility, an arm of the ride-hailing 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.

“As an interconnected transaction to the Proposed ANI Investment, the acquirers also propose to acquire certain minority equity stake in OEM (Ola Electric Mobility),” said the CCI filing, underlining that acquirers refers to Hyundai and Kia.

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.

When Ola and Hyundai had announced the transaction in March, the companies had said that they will work on “new mobility, fleet solutions and electric vehicles” besides help drivers with “micro-entrepreneurship opportunities by giving them access to customised vehicles and financing benefits.” 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.


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