Ola cabs, India's homegrown Uber rival, expands into Sydney

Erika Holt
March 15, 2018

In the coming weeks, Ola will continue to roll out a number of new initiatives for both customers and driver-partners.

Ola, the home-grown app cab service, has started operations in Sydney, expanding its services in the Australian market.

At present, the company is offering introductory free rides in Sydney to get the initial set of users in.

The company, on January 30, announced driving into Australia to foray into the worldwide market to rival US-based Uber.

Sydney and Melbourne are two of the most populated cities in the country.

The company announced its plans to go Down Under at the end of January and in Sydney, which is its first full launch, Ola said it has signed up over 7,000 registered drivers.

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The company has not yet started operations in Melbourne.

Ola's arrival comes at a time when ridesharing has been legalised across Australia, with state governments implementing a range of compensation schemes for the taxi industry involving a surcharge on all rides.

SoftBank is also the largest shareholder in Uber, after the Japanese telecom firm recently bought 15 per cent of its stake.

Uber which is Ola's main competitor in the Australian market, launched its operations in Australia in 2012 and now operates in 19 Australian cities including the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra. Ola also stated they would hire private vehicles and drivers in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in the next fortnight.

"We are excited to officially start operating on the east coast with the launch in Sydney", Chandra Nath, vice-president, head of global, Ola, said.

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