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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.

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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.