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Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati

Bhavish-Aggarwal_Ankit-BhatiThe latest half-a-billion-dollar fundraise is estimated to have pushed cab-hailing app Ola’s valuation to around $5 billion, or twice as much as it was eight months ago. This points to its aggressive expansion—a 30-fold growth within a year in taxi booking on its app to a million a day now. Led by 29-year-old IIT Mumbai batchmates Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola has demonstrated its spunk when it beat its homegrown rival TaxiForSure in fundraising and eventually bought over the latter. Backed by a strong line-up of investors—SoftBank, DST Global, Falcon Edge Capital and Tiger Global, Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford and China’s Didi Kuaidi, Ratan Tata and Arun Sarin—Ola has replaced Meru as the brand synonymous with urban private mobility and clearly made online taxi booking a two-horse race between itself and Uber.