Online cab aggregator Ola has launched a new service called Ola Rentals which will allow users to rent a car on hourly packages. The service is currently active only in Mumbai and users can choose between the Mini, Prime or the Lux segments. Ola will charge a base fare of Rs 750 for four hours and which will include travel of 40 kms.
However, Ola’s app showed that rentals would only include Toyota Etios, Tata Indigo and Maruti Swift Dzire, all cars under its Mini category. Ola had sent an email to customers informing the launch, but it did not provide information how much customers would be charged after four fours and the travel of 40 kms.
Ola has been ramping up its service offerings. In the past three months, the company has introduced:
– Ola Outstation, a cab service from Pune to travel to Lonavala, Mumbai, Nashik and Aurangabad.
– Ola Lux, a luxury category of cars will include cars like Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Toyota Fortuner, Honda Accord.
– Ola Electric rickshaws in partnership with Bhartiya Micro Credit (BMC) across Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.
This is interesting considering that its rival Uber has been shutting down services. Some of the features and services stopped by Uber in recent times include:
– Surge pricing in Karnataka and Delhi
– Bike taxi service UberMOTO in Bangalore (two months after launch)
– UberBLACK service in India except Mumbai
– UberAUTO in Delhi and UberINTERCITY in Pune and Mumbai
In February, it also introduced Ola Micro, its cheapest service at Rs 6 per kilometer and and a base fare of Rs 45.
With this development, Ola will also be competing with companies such as Carzonrent, Saavari Car Rentals, MyTaxiIndia among others.
Ola financials: ANI Technologies, which runs Ola, reported reported Rs 51.05 crore revenue from operations and other income in FY 2013-14. This was a growth of over 200% from Rs 16.4 crore in the preceding financial year. Losses in the period stood at Rs 34.22 crore compared to the loss of Rs 22.8 crore in the previous financial year.
Ola funding: In November 2015, Ola raised Series F funding worth $500 million from Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group, DST Global and China’s Didi Kuaidi. This funding round valued Ola at $5 billion compared to Uber’s $68 billion valuation.