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What This Tech Giant's Investment Could Mean for Ola Infusion of new funds from Microsoft would help the Bengaluru-based ride-hailing company battle bigger rival Uber.

By Debroop Roy

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Indian ride-hailing company Ola Cabs is in advanced discussions with technology giant Microsoft for about $150 million to $200 million in funding, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

The talks, which could close in the next 10-15 days, will see the two companies continue their deep technology partnership in areas like cloud, and collaborate on emerging mobility technology, especially connected vehicles, one of the sources told PTI.

In 2017, both companies had announced a partnership to develop a connected vehicle platform for car manufacturers globally.

Microsoft declined to comment while Ola had not responded to requests for comment from Entrepreneur India at the time of publication.

Expanding Partnership

If a deal is reached, it would expand their pact from two years ago, which saw Ola use Microsoft's Azure cloud platform to power its Ola Play platform.

The partnership would also allow customers using the platform to use tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business during their rides, Microsoft had said in its 2017 statement.

They also planned to build superior safety features and advanced driver assistance services.

Competing with Uber

Ola, which serves over 200 million customers across India, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, has so far raised $3.8 billion in funding, according to data provider Crunchbase, with the latest one coming in September this year.

The Bengaluru-based company has been battling with bigger rival Uber to grab a bigger share of the Indian market. Infusion of new funds from Microsoft would help Ola against its deep-pocketed rival.

Earlier this year, the U.S.-based ride hailing company listed itself on the New York Stock Exchange and raised a little over $8 billion in what was one of the most high-profile IPOs of the year.

Debroop Roy

Former Correspondent

Covering the start-up ecosystem in and around Bangalore. Formerly an energy reporter at Reuters. A film, cricket buff who also writes fiction on weekends.
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