Ola, the biggest ride-sharing startup in India, has decided to take its first overseas step. An official statement was issued by Ola confirming that they will be inviting drivers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth to sign up for them. Ola which competes with Uber Technologies Inc in the home ground will have to face challenges to expand in Australia as the US multinational has already a strong base in that country.
Both the companies have gone along quite well in the $10-billion ride-hailing market of India. Indian cities are well known for their immense growth prospects in public transportation systems, and it’s not going to be the same in Australia, for sure.
We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem. – Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ola
Interestingly, SoftBank backs both Uber and Ola, and the company recently invested $10B acquiring 20% in Uber. SoftBank has also invested in ANI Technologies Pvt., which is the parent company of Ola. Uber is quite popular in Australia, and UberEATS food delivery is among the top growing businesses in that country.
It’s not the first instance, though. Grab is another company backed by SoftBank, which is competing with Uber in Southeast Asia.
The collision between Uber’s regional footprint and the investments SoftBank made in Asia might complicate the situation.
Ola and Uber now have a common investor and if not right away, there’s bound to be a push from SoftBank on how to get the two to burn less cash by not competing directly with each other.Even if there’s no merger between the two, there’s likely to be synergies. – Satish Meena, a New Delhi-based analyst at Forrester Inc.
As of now, Ola has more than 125 million users and 1 million drivers across 110 cities. Ola claims to have managed more than a billion rides per year via cabs, street taxis, and three-wheeler auto-rickshaws.