India's EV maker Ola Electric revs up with $385m funding from Temasek, SBI

India's EV maker Ola Electric revs up with $385m funding from Temasek, SBI

Photo: Ola Electric website

SoftBank-backed electric vehicle maker Ola Electric has raised $385 million (Rs 3,200 crore) in an equity and debt funding round from Temasek-led investors and the State Bank of India.

The funds raised would be utilised towards the expansion of Ola’s EV business and setting up India’s first lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu.

Anticipated to be operational by early next year, the upcoming Gigafactory in Krishnagiri is a lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility near Ola’s Futurefactory. Ola claims that it is a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in India with an initial capacity of 5 GWh in phase I which will be further scaled up in phases to 100 GWh at full capacity.

Ola Electric’s valuation rose to $5.5 billion after a $140 million funding round led by existing backer Temasek in September. Ola was valued at $3 billion in September 2021, a month after announcing its first scooter, and at $5 billion in January 2022.

Ola is on top in terms of volume. It held a 21% share of the market in the fiscal year ended March 2023 and a 31% share as of August, according to the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles, an industry group, Reuters reported. Its rivals all come in below 20%.

The company, however, continues to face competition from Uber, Rapido, and other local players in the Indian market and is slowly pivoting its focus to new initiatives such as electric vehicles and food delivery, which has put pressure on its financials.

Ola Electric has yet to file its latest financials, but posted revenue of $45 million and losses of $94 million in fiscal 2022.

Ola Electric has also expanded its scooter portfolio to five products with prices ranging from Rs. 89,999-1,47,499. The company is also expected to launch a motorcycle line-up by the end of next year.

Last month, Reuters reported that Ola Electric plans to file regulatory papers for its up to $700 million IPO before the end of October as the e-scooter maker fast-tracks its listing move.

“At Ola, our vision is to end the ICE age in automobiles and our upcoming Gigafactory will be a big leap in India’s journey towards becoming a global EV hub. We are committed to developing core technologies in EVs and cells and are rapidly scaling up manufacturing to further accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility.” Bhavish Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Ola Electric, said.

Edited by: Pramod Mathew

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