Cab-hailing firm Ola has made sweeping changes in its shareholder terms, strengthening the rights of its founders and restricting those of its largest investor SoftBank Group Corp. and others.
It’s the first instance of start-up leaders shielding themselves against potentially hostile action by powerful shareholders after some of the country’s top entrepreneurs lost control of their companies this year.
The move by Ola co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal to put restrictions on SoftBank’s rights comes as the Japanese investor is close to winning a boardroom battle at another portfolio company, Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd).
SoftBank is in the process of selling Snapdeal to Flipkart amid a bitter boardroom battle in which Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal initially wanted to keep the company independent despite the fact that it had lost out in the e-commerce battle to Flipkart and Amazon India. Ola counts Bahl and Bansal as two of its early investors.
In January, another powerful Ola investor, Tiger Global Management, had installed its seniormost India employee, Kalyan Krishnamurthy, […]