Ola seeks to counter an increasingly aggressive Uber Technologies Inc in the coveted India market, according to a person familiar with the matter.

India’s largest ride-hailing startup, Ola, is in talks to raise about $600 million and may close the deal by year end, as it seeks to counter an increasingly aggressive Uber Technologies Inc in the coveted India market, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The funds are coming from new and existing investors and would give six-year old Ola enough capital for at least 18 months, said the person, asking not to be named because the talks are private. Negotiations are ongoing and the amount raised or timing may still change. SoftBank Group Corp., a current investor, plans to participate and may lead the funding round, the person said.

The fundraising would be a record for India this year and intensify the fight between ANI Technologies Pvt’s Ola, last valued at $5 billion, and Uber, the world’s best-funded technology startup with a valuation of $69 billion. Ola, backed by SoftBank and Tiger Global Management, could use the funds to speed up its spending on recruiting drivers and helping them lease vehicles. It would also allow Ola to expand geographically as it tries to maintain its lead over Uber, which has increased investments in India after agreeing to sell its money-losing China operation.

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