IPO-bound Ola Electric recorded $136 million loss in FY23

India’s largest e-scooter maker Ola Electric recorded an operating loss of $136 million on a revenue of $335 million in the last financial year which concluded in March, three sources told Reuters, missing its publicly disclosed revenue goal.

The 2022/23 loss number of SoftBank-backed Ola Electric, which is preparing for an up to $700 million IPO, has not previously been reported or filed with Indian authorities, which allows time until September to file previous year’s earnings.

Ola declined to comment.

The e-scooter maker last year in June issued a statement saying it was “on track to surpass $1 billion run rate by end of this year” and “the future forecast looks even stronger.”

The run rate is a financial indicator calculated by taking one month of Ola’s revenues and multiplying by 12.

But that revenue projection for 2022/23 was missed. Two sources with direct knowledge of its financials said Ola’s first full year of operations saw it record a revenue of $335 million in year with over 150,000 unit sales, and an operating loss of $136 million.

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Ola sold about 21,400 elecric scooters in March – the last month of the fiscal year 2022/23. Since it began sales in late 2021, Ola has become India’s e-scooter market leader with a 32% share, competing with Ather Energy as well as companies like TVS Motor and Hero Electric. It was valued at $5 billion last year and has raised nearly $800 million from investors since 2019.

Ola Electric earlier this year laid out aggressive projections internally, estimating its revenue will quadruple to $1.5 billion 2023-24, a year when it also plans to clock its first profit, Reuters reported last week.

But this was before India slashed government incentives in May on e-scooters, which analysts say will force Ola and others to redraw growth plans.

Despite the incentives cut, the company remains confident it can this year become operationally profitable – a key metric watched by potential IPO investors, according to one of the sources.

“Ola is a market leader in a short while … That’s what their existing investors are bullish on,” the person added.

Ola says it builds its e-scooters in the southern state of Tamil Nadu from “the world’s largest 2 wheeler factory” which has capacity to produce 10 million units a year. The company has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars in expand its factory and service centres.

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