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Ola raises $222.5 million in fresh funding round

Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola, an app-based cab service provider, poses in front of an Ola cab in Mumbai March 3, 2015.

Reuters/Shailesh Andrade/Files

MUMBAI Ola, India’s biggest taxi-hailing service, has raised 14.78 billion rupees ($222.5 million) in a fresh round of funding from investors led by New York-based Falcon Edge Capital, about six months after the company raised $400 million from investors led by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global.

An industry source said the funding was part of an overall $500 million the company is planning to raise, which will value Ola at around $5 billion.

An Ola spokesman did not respond to an email seeking comment.

According to papers filed with the Registrar of Companies dated Sept. 8, Falcon Edge is joined by existing investors Tiger Global Management LLC, Softbank Corp and others.

Ola competes with Uber in India. The latest round of funding also comes on the heels of San Francisco based Uber’s announcement to invest $1 billion in India as the app-based taxi-hailing market in the country heats up.

Ola has said it clocks more than 750,000 trips a day and expects to hit 1 million, while Uber averages about 200,000 trips a day in India, according to industry sources.

On Monday, Ola introduced a cab leasing programme for drivers, saying it will spend 50 billion rupees ($752.67 million) through a subsidiary on the programme that aims to get more drivers on its system and potentially allows for greater control of its fleet of cars.

Over the past few months, Ola has also introduced a bunch of services to take on Uber, including shuttle services, expanding its mobile wallet, introducing wifi-cars to select users and running a cafe service on its app.

($1 = 66.4300 rupees)

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Mumbai; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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