Ratan Tata’s venture capital (VC) fund has made its maiden investment into Ola on Tuesday, pumping in Rs 400 crore cab aggregator.
Besides funding from Tata’s VC fund RNT Capital Advisors, Ola has also received investments from the University of California (UC), a report in Business Standard said. UC was onboarded by RNT as a limited partner last year.
The new round of funds will enable Ola to rival Uber’s aggressive push in India, giving it the ammunition to roll out a new set of features.
Aided by RNT’s association with UC, Ola could benefit from utilising the technology developed in the labs at UC. The RNT investment in Ola is part of a $330 million funding round that was spearheaded by Softbank last year.
Ratan Tata and Co made their funding comeback earlier this year. The VC fund had earlier invested in domestic startups and voiced its opinion on nurturing them into becoming bigger, global products.
Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata TrustsThe regulators need to focus on the areas where there is unfair competition which is done to kill newer startups, and ensure that there is enough latitude and level-playing field so that everyone has their chance.
On its part, Ola – along with e-commerce giant Flipkart – has been vocal in seeking protection for India-based companies to fight it out against global players like Uber and Amazon.
However, it has been said that Ola and Flipkart welcome investment from foreign entities, but object to competition from MNC heavyweights.
It is believed that with its first big-ticket investment in Ola, Tata’s VC fund is set for bigger things in the long haul.