New Delhi: Indian cab hailing firm Ola on Thursday said it has started operations in Melbourne, expanding its services in the Australian market.

In February, the company had kick-started its services in Australia with Perth. In January, the SoftBank-backed company had announced its plans to foray into the Australian market “Ola continues to receive positive response from driver-partners with over 15,000 registrations across Australia," the company said in a statement.

Ola offers driver-partners in Australia 7.5% introductory commission rate and daily payments, helping them earn more money, it added. “We’ve been humbled by the response from passengers and drivers alike in Perth and Sydney, and are incredibly excited about launching Ola in Melbourne," Ola vice president (Head of International) Chandra Nath said.

The company said it is working with local stakeholders to continue its rollout in Australia, with future launch cities including Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart. Ola’s main competitor in the Australian market is Uber.

Interestingly, SoftBank is also an investor in Uber. Uber launched its operations in Australia in 2012 and currently operates in 19 Australian cities including the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

The companies are already locked in an intense battle for leadership in the Indian market. They compete not only in the ride-sharing space in India but also food delivery, with Ola acquiring Foodpanda’s India business. US-based Uber runs on-demand food delivery app UberEATs in select Indian cities.