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Softbank-Backed Ola Raises $500-Million Loan From Investors; Begins E-Scooter Delivery


New Delhi: Indian ride-hailing company Ola on Thursday said that it had raised a loan of $500 milllion from international institutional investors, as the SoftBank Group backed start-up preps to make its stock market debut next year.

Ola, which has a majority share of India’s ride-hailing market where it competes with Uber Technologies, has plans to raise up to $1 billion through an initial public offering (IPO).

Earlier this month, Ola Chief Executive Officer Bhavish Aggarwal said the company planned to go public in the first half of 2022.

The proposed loan issuance got a staggering response from investors with interest and commitment of about $1.5 billion, the Bengaluru-based firm said.

Aggarwal also plans to list Ola’s separate electric vehicle business in the future, a segment it has bet heavily on, and is currently building it out starting with electric scooters.

Meanwhile, the company on Thursday began deliveries of its electric scooters.

Ola Electric started deliveries for Ola S1 and S1 Pro electric scooters as it promised earlier that its flagship products would hit the road by mid-December.

Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal took to Twitter to share the news of the first set of deliveries of the electric scooters. “Goosebumps while hosting our first set of S1 customers at the Ola Campus… Thank you to all our customers who are the real reason behind the EV revolution,” he wrote.

Varun Dubey, Chief Marketing Officer, Ola Electric, said, “(It) is a landmark day for those who have joined the revolution with us as we begin our deliveries of Ola S1. This is just the beginning of the revolution,” he said.

Ola electric scooters S1 and S1 Pro were launched about four months ago on August 15 while the company had opened the purchase window for the scooters only in September for two days.

Last month, the EV maker had rolled out the largest-ever direct-to-consumer experience initiative, offering test rides across the country.



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