Ola’s board has approved the acquisition of Avail Finance for $50 million in a share swap deal. The merger comes as Ola planned to list on the public markets this year but now plans to raise a new round of funding at a lower valuation, representing a sharp reversal in fortune for startups.
Avail Finance was founded in 2017 by Bhavish’s brothers Ankush Aggarwal and Tushar Mehndiratta and offers lending products such as personal loans, salary advances, and savings to blue-collar workers. The move is expected to help Ola expand its fintech offerings and allow it to offer credit to its driver-partners. Ola currently holds 9 per cent in Avail Finance and had invested in the firm three years ago. Avail’s leadership will join Ola after the deal, and Ankush will lead the Financial business in the future.
“The acquisition is an important step in Ola’s push into the fintech space as it looks to build a mobility-focused financial services business under Ola Financial. With this acquisition, Ola Financial will further bolster its play in the credit underserved segments that include blue-collar workers such as Ola’s driver-partner ecosystem,” the firm said in a statement,