Sunday, 19 August, 2018

After Australia, Ola eyes the United Kingdom market

India's Uber to enter UK ride-hailing market After Australia, Ola eyes the UK market
Rhonda Young | 07 August, 2018, 18:32

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola said on Tuesday it plans to launch services in Britain this year, months after expanding operations in Australia, intensifying its rivalry with USA peer Uber Technologies Inc.

Ola will initially launch in Greater Manchester and south Wales but is yet to submit an application for a London licence. He added: "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 ever demanding mobility needs".

Subject to successful negotiations with other local authorities Ola could expand nationwide by the end of the year.

Ola's latest moves to expand overseas is part of a broader company strategy to create a massive worldwide business that will be generate consistent revenues, alongside its domestic Indian operations.

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ET recently reported that Ola is inching closer to profitability as it started making money on each cab ride, after taking into account expenses such as driver incentives and customer discounts.

Apart from Ola, the likes of education technology start-up Byju's are also getting increasingly confident about their ability to compete anywhere against bigger global rivals.

Ola further said that it will become the only app in the British market to offer services across both private hire vehicles (PHVs) and black cabs.

Uber, in March, made a decision to exit Southeast Asia, allowing it to focus on India.

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Globally it has over 1 million driver partners who generate around a billion ride every year.

Like Uber, Ola operates a ride-hailing service through an app and relies on the availability of contracted drivers. Uber has around 5 million customers in the United Kingdom, while Ola says it has about 125 million outside the UK.

"This could put pressure on Uber and cause them to possibly merge in India", said Shah, adding that Ola could use its global expansion strategy into Uber territories as leverage.

Ola was last valued at $7bn (£5.4bn) when it raised a $3bn mega-round from Softbank, Chinese backers Tencent and Didi Chuxing, and DST Global.

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