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Ola makes overseas debut with Down Under


Foreseeing massive potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem, India’s biggest cab-hailing company Ola has announced overseas debut with operations in Australia.

“We’ve begun onboarding driver-partners across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth & look forward to working together with local communities in building mobility for every Australian,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola’s co-founder and chief executive officer, over a tweet.

However, Ola’s co-founder did not share the exact date of the launch.

In Down Under, the ride-hailing platform will face the challenge from already existing players such as Uber, GoCatch and Taxify.

Ola, to attract more drivers, will charge a 7.5 per cent commission from drivers, which is much lower than the other service providers. Uber charges 25 per cent commision from its drivers while local ride-hailing company Taxify charges 15 per cent.

The competition in down under is going to be more intensified as these players will fight the battle on the ground of huge investments.

Besides Uber, which has a deep pocket, GoCatch and Taxify have also raised $11 million and $2 million, respectively.

In Australia, Ola will be one of the well-funded ride-hailing firms after Uber. Softbank and Tencent invested $1.1 billion in October 2017, which was the largest funding round since 2015 when the firm raised $500 million.

Ola’s international ambition comes after the expiration of GOLD alliance (an alliance among Grab, Ola, Lyft and Didi).

The Bengaluru-based company is also looking at neighbouring markets in the sub-continent such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Founded in 2011, Ola claims 12.5 crore registered users in India and more than 10 lakh driver partners across more than 110 cities. The company serves as many as a billion rides in India annually through its platform.

In India, Ola is reportedly setting up a team to design Ola electric auto fleet (e-rickshaws). The Bengaluru-based firm has roped in Chinam Netaji Patro, who was formerly at the research and development (R&D) of electrical and electronics at Bajaj Auto.

Aggarwal in an earlier interview said that along the lines of Mahindra and Tata, Ola is focusing on building an e-vehicle fleet and more investment is foreseen.
Masayoshi Son, the owner of Ola’s largest investor SoftBank, has hinted to bring one million EVs to Indian roads.

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