Ola to shut Dash, its quick commerce business, and merge cars unit with electric division

Mobility platform startup Ola has said it has shut down Ola Dash, its brisk commerce business, and will recast its cars business to focus more on strengthening its electric division.

The firm said on June 25 that the move was part of its strategy to accelerate its electrification journey and build on its core mobility and financial services capabilities.

“Ola has reassessed its priorities and decided to shut down Ola Dash—its quick commerce business. Ola will also be reorienting its Ola Cars business to focus more on strengthening its go-to-market strategy for Ola Electric. Ola Cars infra, technology, and capabilities will be repurposed towards growing Ola Electric’s sales and service network,” the company said in a statement released to the press.

Ola Ddash shutdown coincides with quick commerce startups reporting increased revenue and growth in projections for the current financial year.

Quick commerce startup Blinkit, recently acquired by Zomato, has more than doubled its revenue from Rs 22.1 crore in January 2022 to Rs 58 crore in May, according to a shareholder letter.

Tata group-owned Big Basket is projecting Rs 1,000 crore in revenue for the current fiscal year. Other competitors in the space are food delivery giant Swiggy’s quick commerce offering Instamart and instant commerce startup Zepto which closed its latest round of funding at $900 million.

Electric push

Ola, optimistic about the growth of its electric automobile division, said that the segment’s revenues surpassed Rs 500-crore in the first two months of FY 22-23 and was on track to hit a $1 billion run rate by the end of this year.

The startup will also expand its 2-wheeler portfolio with plans to launch its second electric scooter aimed at the mass market to be introduced before the end of this year.

Some high-level exits have rocked Ola Electric in recent weeks. In May, Ola Electric chief marketing officer Varun Dubey quit, citing personal reasons. Days later, chief technical officer Dinesh Radhakrishnan departed. Earlier, Ola Cars chief executive officer (CEO) Arun Sirdeshmukh had also quit.

There has also been a change of guard at Ola at the top as well, with founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal stepping back from day-to-day operations to focus more on engineering functions, team building, and products, apart from focusing on long-term strategic projects such as two-wheelers, cars, and innovations in quick commerce and international expansion.

GR Arun Kumar, who joined less than a year ago and is the group chief financial officer of Ola and CFO of Ola Electric, is managing day-to-day operations across the group.

Moneycontrol reported recently that Ola, which had plans to list on the bourses this year, was looking to raise a new round of funding at a lower valuation, signifying a sharp reversal in fortune for startups after a record 2021 that saw sky-high valuations in the public and private markets.

Ola was last valued at $7.3 billion when it raised $139 million in its Series J round, led by Edelweiss PE, IIFL, and Sunil Munjal-led Hero Enterprises, in what seemed like the last round of funding before its IPO.

Before this round, it raised $500 million from Warburg Pincus and Temasek, giving early backers Tiger and Matrix a part exit in the company. Aggarwal had said Ola was planning to go public in the first half of 2022.

Aggarwal, the founder of the two unicorns—the ride-hailing business Ola and Ola Electric, also outlined plans to create a “super app” that would offer not just mobility but also loans and microinsurance.

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