2 min read.Updated: 20 Feb 2019, 12:18 AM ISTAnirban Sen
Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal total investment in Bhavish Aggarwal's Ola now stands at ₹650 crore
Sachin Bansal as an investor gives Bhavish Aggarwal more leverage in the boardroom battle against SoftBank
Bengaluru: Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal has committed more of his personal $1 billion-plus fortune to Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd, taking his total investments in the ride-hailing app to about $92 million ( ₹650 crore).
Bansal may invest more in subsequent funding rounds, according to two people aware of the development. He is, however, not expected to take an advisory role at Ola, or be involved in the company’s operations.
“I have known Bhavish (Aggarwal) as an entrepreneur and as a friend over the years and I have great respect for what he and the team at Ola have built in just eight years. I am personally thrilled to be part of the Ola journey and I look forward to contributing to their success," Bansal said.
Over the past six months, Bansal has been in talks with startups such as Ather Energy and SigTuple to make strategic investments. He also set up a new holding company, BAC Acquisitions Pvt Ltd, which will be used to route all his future startup investments.
Bansal’s investment in Ola is widely being seen as strengthening the hand of Ola founder Aggarwal, who has been locked in a boardroom battle with the company’s largest shareholder, SoftBank Group Corp., since 2017.
Aggarwal has even gone to the extent of changing Ola’s articles of association to include a clause to prevent the Japanese investor from buying more shares in Ola without the approval from the company’s founders and board.
It is unclear whether Aggarwal will take more money from the Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank, even as Ola continues to finalize discussions with new investors, such as Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Ltd.
Temasek has bought shares in Ola through a secondary transaction.
“We are extremely thrilled to have Sachin on board Ola as an investor. Sachin is an icon of entrepreneurship and his experience of building one of India’s most respected businesses ground up, is unparalleled. His investment is a huge encouragement for all of us at Ola and our mission to serve a billion people," said Aggarwal.
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