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If you haven’t heard of Ola yet, just give it a little time. Uber and Lyft still dominate the rideshare industry, but Ola is on the rise.
Ola Cabs is better known as Ola. They are a ridesharing company based out of Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Though they are based in India, they have an ever growing international presence with drivers in the U.K., New Zealand, and Australia, covering over 250 cities, for now, with more than one and a half million drivers internationally. In less than ten years, Ola has grown from a small online cab aggregator in Mumbai to an international company with a valuation of over $10 billion, providing services ranging from taxis, peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery, to ride hailing. Although, their services are not relegated to just those; they have an expansive network of services and capabilities.
The company was founded on December 3, 2010. Bengaluru was ground zero for Ola’s trial period with autorickshaws. The program was such a success, it expanded to several cities throughout India later that year. 2015 was a year which saw two major moments of growth for the company. In June, acquired TaxiForSure allowing Ola users to take advantage of TFS services via their app. Later that year in November, they purchased Geotagg to help streamline their trip-planning software. In 2017, the company branched out of cab aggregation by purchasing Foodpanda. They also funded a scooter operation in 2018.
Today, Ola has a monopoly on the rideshare industry in India. By 2014, they had cornered over 60% of the ridesharing market across India. The company states they have over one and a half million bookings every day. One of the best things they have done has been to make use of technology. Rides can be booked through their app or their website. The service accepts cash or cashless payments with their Ola money. It makes the service accessible to everyone, whether they have a smartphone or not. The older generations can make use of Ola even if they lack technological capabilities.
Ola is ever growing and becoming very popular with riders and drivers alike. They will launch in London, U.K. on February 10. Over 10,000 drivers applied online and off before they’ve even launched in the city. By taking advantage of technology and filling niches, Ola has become a quiet super power in the ridesharing industry.