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Indian ride-hailing company Ola raises US$500m from Softbank, others

A man looks at his phone as he walks past an advertising poster of the SoftBank telecommunications company in Tokyo on Oct 16, 2015.

[NEW DELHI] Ola, India's biggest ride-hailing service, said on Wednesday it had raised US$500 million from investors including Japan's SoftBank Group, Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge, Tiger Global and DST Global.

Ola, which completes more than 1 million bookings a day, will use the funds to grow its existing services and to invest in new markets and products, the company said in a statement.

Ola competes with Uber Technologies in India. The latest round of funding comes just months after San Francisco based Uber's announcement to invest US$1 billion in India as the app-based taxi-hailing market in the country heats up.

Over the past few months, Ola has also introduced a bunch of services to take on Uber, including shuttle services, expanding its mobile wallet, introducing WiFi-cars to select users and running a cafe service on its app.

With more than 350,000 vehicles registered on its platform across 102 cities, Ola, whose existing investors include SoftBank, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital, Sequoia and Accel Partners, has now raised a total of US$1.3 billion.