Ola Board of Directors Approves Avail Finance Acquisition, Shareholder Sign-off Pending
The board of directors of Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies has approved the acquisition of lending firm Avail Finance with shareholder approval currently pending, an Ola spokesperson confirmed to Business Today. . The acquisition would be a $40 million deal that would see Ola CEO’s brother Bhavish Aggarwal and Avail Finance CEO Ankush Aggarwal acquire a stake in ANI Technologies. According to Tracxn data, Ola was last valued at $6.7 billion. The ridesharing giant is also expected to go public early next year.
Meanwhile, when asked about the company’s shareholding structure after this acquisition, Ola’s spokesman declined to comment.
Sources with knowledge of the development said Avail Finance recently went through a downsizing exercise, having laid off its non-core operations team and is currently operating with a small teaching team led by Ankush Aggarwal.
When BT contacted Avail with a question about downsizing, a spokesperson said: “With a team of over 200 staff, the company has processed loans worth $100 million so far. and experienced monthly growth of 50% in the last quarter. Avail Finance’s strong customer profiling and understanding of risk has enabled 100% collection efficiency from customers despite Covid.”
The Bengaluru-based banking startup was co-founded by Ankush in 2017 to provide instant loans to blue-collar workers. The two brothers are the directors of the company. Even though Ola owns a 9% stake in Avail Finance and there are joint investors — including Alpha Wave Global and Matrix Partners in both companies — the share swap deal required board approval. administration and an audit as it falls within the operations related competence of the parties.
Ola had said in an earlier statement that the company had invested almost Rs 800 crore in its financial services business which is already showing strong growth in its lending and insurance verticals. The company said its BNPL Ola Postpaid offering is available to 40 million customers, its vehicle finance business is growing rapidly in conjunction with Ola Electric as well as its used car business, Ola Cars.