Online cab aggregator Ola has launched its ride sharing service Ola Share in Delhi-NCR, in light of the odd-even rule in Delhi NCR where cars can only ply on alternate days. The service will let users travelling on the same routes share their rides with users from their workplace and between friends, but can also ride with other Ola users. It can be used by up to 3 people at a time.
The company claims that all its Ola Share vehicles in Delhi will run on CNG fuel rather than diesel or petrol. In order to create a group, users can set a request and get verified through email. Ola claims that Ola Share was used ‘tremendously’ by its users in Bangalore since its launch in October, and has the same features as the regular cab booking on its platform. As a promotion, Ola is also offering a 50% discount on the fares for a month.
Uber: Likewise, Uber also launched its ride sharing service (not UberPOOL, because the company does not mention UberPOOL anywhere) in the region today. Through this, users can either use the Uber app, or sign up to pick up other passengers through their personal cars. “Getting more butts into fewer cars is an important step towards reducing congestion and pollution in the capital over time,” the blog mentioned. The service will be available on UberGO, with apparently 10-30% cheaper fares, but the regular ride option with fare will also be displayed with it. Like Ola, Uber’s ride sharing will have the same security features as Uber.
In October, Uber announced that it would roll out its car-pooling product UberPOOL in Bangalore in beta by October. Although Uber had not locked down on UberPOOL’s pricing, it said that users could save up to 50% or more with the service. Uber had plans to launch UberPOOL in some other cities in India after the Bangalore pilot, but seems to have fast forwarded those plans with commercial and private vehicles.
Meru’s carpooling: Earlier this month, Meru Cabs partnered exclusively with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) to promote carpooling and create awareness around it across Meru’s operational cities in India. IOCL and Meru will inform people about the latter’s Carpool by Meru option in the Meru Cabs’ app, which will allow regular office goers or car users to share their ride with people going in the same direction, in order to help reduce traffic and pollution.
Ola global alliance: Earlier this month, Ola from India, Didi Kuadi from China, Lyft from the US and GrabTaxi from Singapore (which have raised $7 billion collectively) joined hands in a strategic alliance and will start rolling out products in the first quarter of 2016. Ola and GrabTaxi have joined the alliance initially started by Lyft and Didi Kuadi in September and claims to cover 50% of the world’s population across Southeast Asia, India, China and the US.
Funding: Last month, Ola raised $500 million from SoftBank Group, DST Global and China’s Didi Kuaidi among other investors for growth related activities and mobility solutions. SoftBank had invested (pdf) $250 million in GrabTaxi in December 2014 and had also led a $210 million investment in Ola in October 2014.
Number of rides: Ola claims to have 350,000 registered vehicles (275,000 cabs and 75,000 auto rickshaws) on its platform, up from 250,000 in August, also when it was doing 750,000 rides daily, in 102 Indian cities. It also claimed to be clocking 1 million booking requests daily.