Indian cab hailing startup Ola, which is yet to consolidate its market locally in India and become profitable, has showed its intention of taking on Uber globally by announcing that the it has now obtained licences to operate in South Wales and Greater Manchester of United Kingdom (UK). This move has came after less than a year it launched in Australia.
Interestingly, Ola has initially skipped London, where Uber Technologies has just managed to garner a 15-month extension on its operating license. London has a strict regulations and mandates toward new ride-hailing entrants compared to other regional cities in UK
In UK, Ola will offer passengers the option of private hire vehicles and licensed taxis through its platform, where it intends to keep adding transportation options. Besides its home market India, Ola is already competing Uber in Australia having with operations in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Canberra. Launched in February, Ola now operates in seven cities of Australia with 40,000 drivers.
“Ola is excited to announce its plans for the UK, one of the world’s most evolved transportation markets. The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service that can help the country meet its demanding mobility needs. We look forward to our continued engagement with policymakers and regulators as we expand across the country and build a company embedded in the UK,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola.
Ola said that in UK it would offer industry-leading commissions and daily payments to drivers, take note of passenger safety with screened drivers and a 24/7 voice support, options to share details with emergency contacts.
Ola’s latest overseas expansion drive is part of a broader company strategy to create a massive global business that will generate consistent revenues, alongside its domestic Indian operations.
Backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent and Japan’s SoftBank, among others, Ola is one of India’s biggest technology startup valued at around $7 billion.
In May this year, it was reported that Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) is planning to set up a holding company that will own different business units, including its core cab business, food delivery app Foodpanda and the nascent businesses of electric vehicles (EV) and the international unit.
In April, Ola acquired Mumbai-based Ridlr, followed by an another report that the firm has held talks to buy private label food startup FreshMenu following its purchase of food ordering app Foodpanda, last year.
Via – Bloomberg