Temasek and SBI pour $384 million into India’s Ola Electric

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Ola Electric said on Thursday that it has raised $384.43 million in a funding round, which included about $240 million in debt. The new round values the Bengaluru-headquartered electric vehicle startup — which supposedly has no ongoing relationship with the ride-hailing startup Ola but continues to share resources, much to many investors’ chagrin –at about $5.4 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Ola Electric and Ola, both of which have the same comms team, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek led the funding round, whose name Ola Electric didn’t disclose, and Indian government-backed lender State Bank of India bankrolled the debt, the startup said in a statement.

Ola Electric, which recently launched several new lower-priced variants of its flagship S1 electric scooter model and also an upgraded version, leads the EV scooter market with more than 30% market share, according to industry data.

“Despite a reduction in subsidies, most feature-rich EVs continue to be 13-23% cheaper than ICE scooters over a five-year ownership cycle (after accounting for lower resale value of EVs). Moreover, the Ola S1 Air and X are actually cheaper than even entry-level motorcycles on a TCO basis,” JP Morgan analysts wrote in a recent note.

Ola Electric, which lost more than $130 million in the financial year that ended in March on a revenue of about $330 million, said it would be deploy the funds to expand its EV business and set up what it said would be “India’s first lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility” in Krishnagiri in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu.

“At Ola, our vision is to end ICE age in automobiles and our upcoming Gigafactory will be a big leap in India’s journey towards becoming a global EV hub,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and chief executive of Ola Electric, in a statement.

“We are committed towards developing core technologies in EVs and cell and are rapidly scaling up manufacturing to further accelerate the transition to sustainable mobility. Our investors and lenders have shown deep faith in Ola’s vision, and we thank them for the constant support and encouragement.”

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