New Delhi: Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal has committed more of his personal $1 billion-plus fortune towards Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd), bringing his total personal investment in India’s largest cab-hailing service to roughly $92 million ( ₹650 crore).
Bansal, who reaped an exit of nearly $1 billion after selling his 5-6% stake in Flipkart during its $16-billion sale to Walmart, has invested in Ola in separate tranches over the past few months, as part of Ola’s Series J round. In January, Bansal had parked roughly $21 million ( ₹150 crore) in Ola, which is aiming to raise nearly $1 billion as part of this round.
Sachin Bansal invests more in Ola, bringing total personal investment to $92 mn
According to two people aware of the development, Bansal may invest more in Ola in subsequent rounds. While Bansal has made a sizeable commitment towards Ola, he is not expected to take an advisory role at Ola or be involved in the company’s operations.
“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 8 years. I am personally thrilled to be part of the Ola journey and I look forward to contributing to their success,” said Bansal in a statement.
On 19 January, Mint had reported that Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal had committed to invest $100 million in Ola.
Mint had first reported on on 3 August that Sachin Bansal was considering investing $700 million-$1 billion from his personal fortune in startups. Over the past six months, Bansal has also held talks to make strategic investments in start-ups such as Ather Energy and SigTuple. In recent months, Bansal has also set up a new holding company, BAC Acquisitions Pvt ltd, which will be used to route all his future start-up investments, among other things.
Bansal’s investment in Ola is widely seen as strengthening the hand of Aggarwal, who is fighting a long-drawn-out boardroom battle with largest shareholder SoftBank, which has offered to invest more in Ola and increase its stake in the ride-hailing platform.
Over the years, Aggarwal has developed a close relationship with both the Bansals of Flipkart.
Since 2017, Aggarwal was locked in a boardroom battle against SoftBank, and went even to the extent of changing Ola’s Articles of Association (AoA) to include a clause to prevent SoftBank from buying more shares in Ola without approval from the company’s founders and board.
It is unclear whether Aggarwal will take more money from SoftBank, even as Ola continues to finalise discussions with other new investors such as Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Ltd, which has already bought shares in Ola through a secondary transaction.
“We are extremely thrilled to have Sachin onboard Ola as an investor. Sachin is an icon of entrepreneurship and his experience of building one of India’s most respected businesses ground up, is unparalleled. His investment is a huge encouragement for all of us at Ola and our mission to serve a billion people,” said Aggarwal.