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Read more about First overseas foray: Ola enters Australia to take on Uber on Business Standard. While Softbank is giving firms a free run, it\'s clamping down on capital heavy battles such as the one between Uber and Ola

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first overseas foray ola enters australia to take

First overseas foray: Ola enters Australia to

take on Uber

Softbank-backed Ola has launched its service in Australia, its first overseas

market, as it looks to fulfill its global ambitions in line with the ride-hailing model

peers and competitors such as Didi Chuxing, Grab and Uber have built.

The company in a press note said that it has begun inviting private hire vehicle

owners in the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to sign up on its service.

Commencement of its commercial operations is still subject to necessary

regulatory approvals, Ola added.

Business Standard had first reported on January 9 that Ola was planning to set up

operations in Australia and New Zealand as it looked for new avenues for growth.

The company at the time had shrugged off queries from the newspaper calling

them “baseless speculation”.

“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential

for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation.”

said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO at Ola, in a statement. “With a strong

focus on driver partners and the community

focus on driver-partners and the community at large, we aim to create a high-

quality and affordable travel experience for citizens.”

Ola will squarely take on Uber, which is the leader in Australia’s ride-hailing

market, apart from smaller players such as Estonian Taxify and local GoCatch.

Unlike in the US and Europe, Australia’s ride-hailing market still has room to grow

which is what continues to attract more players.

Moreover, unlike several countries in the West that have shrugged and combated

the rise of taxi-hailing, Australia has embraced the concept, making it legal back in

2015.

This would give Ola a chance to flex its muscles against Uber at a time when the

US company is fighting to change it culture, regulators and investors who are

getting jittery about returns.

Ola’s expansion drive comes after the company managed to raise $1.1 billion

from investors such as Tencent, Softbank, UC-RNT and Falcon Edge over the last

12-18 months. Moreover, rival Uber has been asked by common investor

Softbank to focus on winning in the US and Europe, showing favoritism to other

local ride-hailing firms it has invested in.

While Softbank now controls stake in most major ride-hailing firms, including

Uber, Didi, Grab and Ola, it isn’t stopping these firms from taking each other on.

Didi recently invested in 99 (formerly 99Taxis) which competes with Uber in

Brazil. However, insiders say that while Softbank is giving firms a free run, it’s

clamping down on capital heavy battles such as the one between Uber and Ola in

India.

Article By - Business Standard