Ola Cabs, the Indian ride-sharing app that shares a major investor with Alibaba, has sealed $225 million USD of a planned $500 million investment round in what has been the most generous season on record for Asian ride-hailing apps.

The latest round of funding brings Ola’s valuation to approximately $5 billion USD, and is currently led by New York-based Falcon Edge Capital. Early this year they had pulled in $400 million led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s fund, DST global. Before that Ola had sealed $210 million from SoftBank, the Japanese company that owns over 35% of Alibaba.

It caps off a truly spectacular eight weeks of funding among Asian ride-hailing apps. Last month Singapore-based Grab Taxi raised $400 million USD with the help of sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC). The same fund had previously supported Chinese star ride-hailing app Didi Kuaidi, who just days ago confirmed a whopping $3 billion USD in funding.

Ola, Didi Kuaidi and Grab Taxi all share a mesh of similar investors, presenting a strong front in the increasingly competitive market. Despite this, Uber has kept its spot in the ring so far, announcing $1.2 billion USD in fresh funding from previous backer Baidu.

Uber has committed to multi-billion dollar localization efforts across China and India over the next year, though they have met with a series of setbacks so far, the largest of which is strong local competition. Ola currently claims to be operational in five times as many cities as Uber within India, while Didi Kuaidi currently holds over 90% of China’s ride-hailing market.


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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com

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