Travis Kalanick is driving SoftBank to hedge its bet on ride-hailing. Consider SoftBank’s position here. It is contemplating a $10 billion investment in Uber and today put $2 billion into Ola, an India-focused mobility services competitor of Uber’s. The renewed board drama at Uber may close the door to the favorable terms Uber needs to complete a round that preserves the fabled $70 billion valuation. Ola’s growth potential from its current valuation is likely much higher than Uber’s remaining upside.
Ola scored $2 billion in new funding from a group of investors including SoftBank Group Corp. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., according to a person familiar with the matter, helping to bankroll Uber Technologies Inc.’s fiercest rival in India.