The UK will be getting a new alternative to Uber as India-based ride-sharing company Ola announced its plans to expand its market. The UK will be the first country from Europe to be the market for Ola.
After the foundation of Ola in 2010, it has managed to cover over 110 cities in India. With the help of a network over one million drivers, it offers licensed taxis, rickshaws, and private hire cars. Investors such as SoftBank, Chinese Duo Chuxing and Tencent and DST Global helped the company to raise around $3 billion. Its last valuation was around $7 billion. For the first time, Ola moved to the overseas with its launch in Australia earlier this year. Moving towards the UK suggests that Ola is planning an expansion into Europe.
According to the company, it will start offering licensed taxi and private hire bookings for the first time in Great Manchester and Wales by the next month. Its service in the UK is yet to go live. By the end of this year, Ola plans to expand its service throughout the country. So, it will start giving a tough competition to Uber and Taxify.
Reason behind the UK
Ola CEO and co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal believes that the UK is a fantastic country for doing business. He wants to provide new, responsible, and compelling service to the country to meet its ever-arising mobility needs.
The gung-ho attitude caused Uber a lot of trouble in London. ‘Launch first, apologize later’ attitude ran Uber into several issues with regulators. Transport for London (TfL) earlier rejected the application of the company for transport license. With an appeal against TfL, Uber won a provisional 15-month transport license this year.
Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber is trying to compensate for the wrongs of the past. It is tough to deal with the regulators and requires time and some huge changes to business, behaviour, and company culture.
Ola and its rivalries
Ola – the rival of Uber, is not commenting anything on its rival directly. But, it made an announcement today which suggests that it is a more collaborative body than Uber.
Aggarwal plans continued engagement with regulators and policymakers to expand its services across the country. Last year, he met the regulators in London to create plans for expanding the business.
Old aims to have an International expansion. According to Aggarwal, this expansion could happen anytime in the next three to four years. But, the international competition is really tough. Didi, the firm that conquered Uber in China, Taxify and many others are trying to get into the new markets.
Ola was successful to keep its promise of expanding its technology, AI and international business by raising $4 billion. Its entry in the countries like Australia, Taiwan and Mexico was successful. Moreover, The company entered Brazil by purchasing local player and Uber rival 99. Also, it is planning to go live in Japan by offering a taxi-booking service through a joint journey with SoftBank.