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Ola's mobile app. Photo: Ola

Ola, an Indian ride-hailing company, confirmed on Wednesday that it has raised $1.1 billion in new funding led by Chinese internet giant Tencent, with participation from existing investors including SoftBank. It also said that it's in advanced talks with other investors to add $1 billion in funding to the round. Bloomberg reported the fundraising earlier this month.

Why it matters: Though Uber has retreated from China, and recently Russia and neighboring countries, it's still hoping to win a big piece of the Indian ride-hailing market. Still, it's become clear that in some parts of the world, local players have certain advantages such as knowledge of the market, an established brand, and government support. Currently, Ola is in 110 cities in India, while Uber is in 30.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO feels "liberated" after taking COVID vaccine

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla tells "Axios on HBO" that he recently received his first of two doses of the company's coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: Bourla told CNBC in December that company polling found that one of the most effective ways to increase confidence in the vaccine was to have the CEO take it.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO: SEC lawsuit is "bad for crypto" in the U.S.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by U.S. regulators, it would put the country at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Between the lines: The SEC in December sued Ripple, and Garlinghouse personally, for allegedly selling over $1.3 billion in unregistered securities. Ripple's response is that its cryptocurrency, called XRP, didn't require registration because it's an asset rather than a security.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Pfizer CEO: "It will be terrible" if COVID-19 vaccine prices limit access

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told "Axios on HBO" that it "will be terrible for society" if the price of coronavirus vaccines ever prohibits some people from taking them.

Why it matters: Widespread uptake of the vaccine — which might require annual booster shots — will reduce the risk of the virus continuing to spread and mutate, but it's unclear who will pay for future shots or how much they'll cost.

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