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Ola looking to raise up to $1.5B via IPO: Sources

Ride-hailing major Ola is looking at raising $1-1.5 billion (Rs 7,324-10,985 crore) via an initial public offering (IPO) and is expected to file the DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus) in the December quarter, according to sources.

Ola is working with select banks, including Citigroup Inc and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, to manage the public offering, two people close to the development said.

One of the persons said the details of the offering by ANI Technologies (which runs Ola), including size and timeline, could still change given that deliberations are still ongoing.

E-mails sent to Ola did not elicit a response.

Recently, Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal had said the company, which competes against US-based Uber, is planning a public offering sometime next year, but has not yet set a date.

Ola had previously talked of a possible listing as well. An IPO will help Ola investors like SoftBank, Tiger Global and Steadview Capital to exit or partially sell their stake in the company to return funds to their shareholders.

Founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola offers services in India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. It is estimated to have raised over $4 billion in funding so far.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola

In July, Ola had announced an investment of $500 million (about Rs 3,733 crore) from Temasek, Warburg Pincus affiliate Plum Wood Investment and Bhavish Aggarwal.

At that time, Aggarwal had said the company has made its ride-hailing business “more robust, resilient and efficient” over the last 12 months.

“With strong recovery post lockdown and a shift in consumer preference away from public transportation, we are well-positioned to capitalise on the various urban mobility needs of our customers,” he had said.

In the same month, Ola had also announced the expansion of its employee stock options (ESOP) pool to Rs 3,000 crore and allocation of an additional Rs 400 crore worth of stocks to employees.

A number of internet-led businesses in the country are gearing up to launch their IPOs, including Nykaa, Paytm, PolicyBazaar and Droom.

Last month, Zomato made a stellar debut on Dalal Street with its shares zooming nearly 53 percent against the issue price of Rs 76, and its market valuation crossing the Rs 1-lakh-crore mark. Recently, CarTrade also made its debut on the stock market.

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