1 min read.Updated: 29 Oct 2019, 11:39 PM ISTSalman S.H.
Microsoft will acquire a stake of around 4.5% in Ola’s parent company, ANI Technologies, as part of the deal
The connected car project, which began in 2017, aims to connect cars with Internet of Things sensors, and the transmitted data is stored in the cloud
Ride-hailing company Ola is set to unveil a connected car project in partnership with Microsoft Corp., which will also invest around $200 million in Ola’s parent, ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, two people aware of the deal said.
Microsoft will acquire around 4.5% in ANI Technologies as part of the deal, one of the two people said on condition of anonymity. News agency PTI first reported the fundraise on Tuesday.
The project, which began in 2017, aims to connect cars with Internet of Things sensors, and the transmitted data is stored in the cloud. The car is thus tracked not only for its location through GPS, but also for the quality of its engine and for relaying information needed by vehicle insurers.
The project will showcase software and hardware solutions addressing the emerging mobility segment, said the person cited above.
Bengaluru-based Ola did not respond to an email seeking comment, while a Microsoft spokeswoman said the company has “nothing to share" on the development.
“The (Ola-Microsoft) partnership will include cloud solutions, a connected vehicles product and deep-tech capabilities focused on future mobility solutions. The tech will also have direct implications for Ola Electric," the person added.
Ola’s proposed connected vehicles project is an “extension" of the initial tie-up with Microsoft, the second person said. In 2017, Ola said it would become a connected car solutions supplier to auto companies worldwide. As part of the partnership, Microsoft would become the default cloud service provider to Ola, wherein the cab-hailing platform would also use Microsoft Azure for Ola Play, the ride-hailing company’s in-cab video streaming service.
Ola’s effort to break into mobility tech solutions is also seen as a response to Uber, which is developing its own fleet of electric vehicles, along with a self-drive car project.
“If Ola has to build large-scale connected cars data, then it will either require electric vehicles on the road or technology such as IoT in existing fleets," the first person said. “Ola will have to compete with companies like Uber, which is already building partnerships with EV manufacturers."
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