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Ola faces bump in Sri Lanka as rival alleges commercial espionage


Bengaluru-based ride-hailing company Ola has vehemently denied the claims made by the Sri Lankan counterpart PickMe accusing the Indian firm of commercial espionage.

“The allegations are absolutely frivolous; however, we can’t offer any detailed comment as the matter is sub-judice”, Ola said to Business Standard.

PickMe claims to be one of the largest online taxi-hailing services in Sri Lanka, however, it’s too small as compared to the scale of Ola.

The local ride-hailing app has reportedly accused the Indian ride-hailing firm of stealing confidential business and technical information, through indulging in a commercial espionage.

According to a report published in a Srilankan business daily (Daily FT), the court in Colombo directed Ola executives who were leading the research campaign in the island country to present before it as early as February 26.

Responding to PickMe allegation, the Tencent-backed Unicorn said that it was conducting the market survey in Colombo and other cities before kicking-off operations in the country.

“They were just doing their groundwork, which is necessary to every industry before starting any work, the company is going to launch the services soon in Sri Lanka”, mentions the above-quoted report.

An e-mail sent to PickMe for seeking comment on the development did not elicit any response till the publication of this post.

On local turf, Ola has fiercely been competing with Uber. Since past two years, both have been at loggerheads. The Bhavish Aggarwal-led company had recently launched in Australia, and it’s about to enter Nepal and Bangladesh.

Also Read: Ola makes overseas debut with Down Under

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

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