Ride-hailing company Uber has led a USD 20 million funding round in Mumbai-based fleet operator Everest Fleet, according to the media reports.
This is Uber's first inorganic investment in India, and it comes amid the company's growth into electric vehicle (EV) services, for which it has collaborated with various fleet operators, including Everest.
Notably, Everest collaborates with Uber's Indian rival, SoftBank-backed Ola. Everest is currently available in seven cities: Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune. It wants to expand its footprint to other major Indian cities and other worldwide areas with this funding.
Even though Uber would only acquire a minority ownership in Everest, this represents a departure from the company's previous position of not having control over its fleet.
Uber signed an agreement with Tata Motors in February to add 25,000 electric vehicles to its fleet. Uber's fleet partners, like Everest, are purchasing these vehicles.
Last month, the company introduced Uber Green in India, allowing users to request an electric vehicle for their trip. The service was first made available in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
While Everest is trying to expand capacity to accommodate companies like Uber, the San Francisco-based company is betting on the expansion of electric vehicles as a ride-hailing market. With the introduction of Uber Green, the company now competes with companies such as BluSmart and Evera.