This was the period during which the company pivoted from building a battery-as-a-service business to manufacturing electric scooters by building what will be the world’s largest scooter factory. Ola Electric clocked operational revenue of just Rs 86 lakh as it didn’t sell a single product during this period. Its biggest expense was employee benefits, which made up close to 70% of total expenses.
Before the pivot, Ola Electric was running a pilot in Gurugram where it had set up battery swapping stations for electric three-wheelers. Revenue from swapping and subscriptions was Rs 85 crore. The company shut the operations and Ola Electric’s cofounder Ankit Jain left the company in August 2020.
The company also
acquired Dutch electric scooter company Etergo in May 2020 and brought its ‘app scooter’ to India. It underwent many changes before being sold as the Ola S1 Pro. Ola Electric began building its scooter factory in February 2021 and in December announced the delivery of its first 100 scooters.
Ola Electric’s overall revenue, which included interest earned on bank deposits, was at Rs 106 crore. The company brought in Rs 97 crore as interest from bank deposits. It had raised multiple rounds even before it started its business, which is likely to have contributed to the income from interest.
In July 2019, Ola Electric raised $250 million from SoftBank to become a unicorn. It raised another $200 million in September 2021 from Alpha Wave Ventures and SoftBank, valuing it at $3 billion. In January 2022, it raised $200 million at a valuation of $5 billion.
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The company started taking bookings from customers in July. In October it claimed to have clocked sales worth Rs 1,100 crore in two days. In March, it became the best-selling electric two-wheeler after Hero Electric’s, clocking over 9,000 sales. However, many customers have raised complaints about the quality of the vehicle. An Ola S1 Pro caught fire on March 27 in Pune, one of many such recent incidents involving electric scooters.
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