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Ola acquires public transport-focused app Ridlr in a stress deal


After a week-long rumour, Ola has finally acquired end-to-end public transport-focused app Ridlr in an all-stock deal. Post acquisition, Ridlr is expected to help Ola to integrate its mobility platform with the public transportation infrastructure.

This is the second acquisition for the SoftBank-backed ride-hailing firm in last four months after it acquired food delivery startup Foodpanda. Overall, this deal marks Ola’s seventh investment in India.

With founder Brijraj Vaghani Ridlr will continue to operate as an independent business for now. The 64 employees of Ridlr will join Ola and the Mumbai-based startup will subsequently become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ola parent ANI Technologies.

The acquisition is also going to bolster Ola supremacy in India and in return the six-year-old startup Ridlr will also increase its presence via the former app.

Flushed with funds Ola claims to have 12.5 crore registered users in India and more than 10 lakh driver partners in over 110 cities. On the other side, the Mumbai-based startup has raised about $6 million in risk capital and operate across 19 cities in India.

Both Ola and Ridlr share Times Internet and Matrix Partners as common investors. The deal is also said to be distressed, however, the financial details could not be ascertained.

Founded in 2010 by Vaghani and Ravi Khemani, Ridlr also counts Qualcomm Ventures and InnoVen Capital as its investors.

Matrix and Qualcomm had earlier invested undisclosed amounts in the company in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Besides the aforementioned investors, Ridlr had raised another Rs 2 crore from the Indian Angel Network in 2012.

Looking for expansion, this is a win-win situation for both entities as the synergy of digital and technology-driven services expected to work fine.

Additionally, this acquisition will bring new technology and mobility options for Ola as it works to expand into and partner with cities in India and abroad.

Ola which competes with global cab major Uber also takes a forward step to give a tough fight to the San Francisco-based company. The recent expansion of Ola in cities of Australia also hints about the upcoming battle on foreign soil between the two.

Meanwhile, both are also engaged in a potential merger, but who will lead the merged entity is a big question and could be a possible reason behind the delayed deal.

The development was reported by TechCrunch.

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