Indian Uber rival Ola reportedly valued at $4.3 billion as it expands into New Zealand
Mint | Hindustan Times | Getty Images The Ola app displayed on a smartphone.
Ola, Uber's main rival in India, has announced its latest overseas push with a planned expansion into New Zealand.
The company said in a statement Tuesday that it plans to launch services in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
The news marks the Bengaluru-based ride-hailing upstart's latest international foray, following its entry into Australia in February and the U.K. last month.
Local media also reported Tuesday that the fledgling tech firm had raised $50 million, lifting its valuation to $4.3 billion.
India's Mint and The Economic Times newspapers reported that the company raised the funds from Chinese private equity fund Sailing Capital and Beijing-backed investment fund, the China-Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund.
Ola declined to comment to CNBC on the media reports.
"We see a real opportunity in New Zealand to provide a fair alternative in the rideshare space for both customers and drivers," said Ola Chief Executive Bhavish Aggarwal in the company's latest statement.
"We invested in understanding the Ne w Zealand customer and devised the right strategy to meet their transport needs."
The company has appointed entrepreneur Brian Dewil, formerly director of Horizon Robotics, as country manager of its New Zealand operations.
"Kiwis have had too little choice when it comes to rideshare," said Dewil. "Ola's arrival will create a compelling experience that puts the quality of rides first."
News of Ola's entry into New Zealand also highlights the firm's latest challenge to rival taxi-hailing app Uber, which, according to its website, operates in all of the cities Ola is expanding to.
Late last year, Ola bought up the Indian unit of online food delivery service Foodpanda, heating up the competition with Uber's food platform UberEats.
SoftBank-backed Ola says it has 125 million users across the countries it is currently present in.
The company raised $1.1 billion from SoftBank and China's Tencent in October year. But its market value at that time was reported to be around $7 billion, exceeding that reported by local media on Tuesday.Source: Google News New Zealand | Netizen 24 New Zealand