Ride-hailing platform Ola announced today that it has raised $300 million from Hyundai and Kia as part of a strategic partnership focused on electric vehicle development.
This brings the company’s total raised to $3.8 billion according to Crunchbase. Ola’s last funding was announced just three weeks ago, when the company said it had raised $56 million in early funding by investors including Tiger Global and Matrix India (two of its earliest backers) to spend on its recently spun-out electric vehicle business called Ola Electric Mobility.
In a press release, Ola said the partnership will build “India-specific” electric vehicles and infrastructure customized for Ola’s fleet and operating and management software. It also includes new financing programs, such as loans and installment payments, for driver who want to purchase the EVs.
Ola Electric Mobility’s challenges including building EV infrastructure (and gathering related data, including maps) for India’s sprawling and diverse landscape. One incentive is the government’s stated goal of making 30 percent of the country’s vehicles electric by 2030, though it hasn’t formalized that policy yet.
Ola’s announcement said that “data accumulated during service operation will allow the companies to make constant vehicle improvements to better meet local needs and specifications.” For Hyundai, the partnership represents an opportunity to move beyond being an auto-maker to taking control of all parts in the “mobility value chain,” including production, fleet operation and services.
Ola’s goal is to increase its drivers from 1.3 million to two million and offer one million EVs by 2022. Its other EV programs include a pledge to add 10,000 rickshaws for use in cities.