India’s Ride-Hailing Service, Ola, To Muscle Into Australia

India biggest ride-hailing player is ready to stretch its reach all the way to Australia, beginning with the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Founded in 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, the company has 125 million users and more than a million drivers in 110 cities. Recently, in a statement, it said that it serves over a billion rides annually via cabs, street taxis and three-wheeler auto rickshaws. Just last December, it acquired Foodpanda’s business in India. It is now foraying Down Under in its first overseas venture, and it is set to take Uber head-on.

“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem,” said Bhavish.

Ola, Uber and Grab are all backed by SoftBank, the fourth largest company in Japan. This begs the question of whether we could see possible mergers, but that’s another article altogether.

Just a note: SoftBank invested US$20 million in Alibaba in 2000 and that investment turned into US$60 billion when Alibaba went public in 2014! So, you know that these ride-hailing companies have a backer that is flush with cash.

Ola’s venture into Australia is big news and would give its competitors a run for their money. Let the games begin..

image source: Ola

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