Bengaluru: Months after its foray into the Australian market, India’s largest cab-hailing firm Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) has expanded further in the country and launched its service in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Canberra.
Ola, which is currently evaluating other countries where it can launch its services, said on Tuesday that it plans to expand further in Australia over the coming months in cities such as Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart.
Ola’s international foray is part of a broader trend that is emerging in India’s booming start-up ecosystem, where a number of Indian ventures backed by deep-pocketed investors are starting to explore bigger international markets outside India.
“As we continue to expand across Australia, we have seen that customers and driver-partners are choosing Ola over competitors for the best rideshare experience possible. By doing so, everyone is choosing an affordable and better way to move," said Chandra Nath, vice president and head of Ola’s international business.
Ola’s international expansion also pits the Indian start-up against Uber, which is the world’s largest and most well-funded cab-hailing service. Both Ola and Uber, which are backed by common and largest investor SoftBank, are currently engaged in a bitter market-share battle in India.
Earlier in May, Mint first reported that SoftBank is in the midst of a boardroom battle with Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola, after Aggarwal’s move late last year to block a proposed deal involving Tiger Global Management selling part of its stake in Ola to SoftBank.
Aside from Uber, the Australian cab aggregator market already includes players like Australia-based cab haling company GoCatch and newer players such as Taxify. Till date, GoCatch has raised $11 million, while Taxify has raised $2 million.
Bengaluru-based Ola, which is currently in talks with both new and existing investors to raise at least another $1 billion in fresh funds, raised $1.1 billion in funding from Tencent, SoftBank in October 2017, its largest funding round since 2015 when it raised $500 million.