Olacabs, an online car rentals and cab services venture has stopped taking rental booking from all the Indian cities where it operates. The company is responding to such requests with this message, “Sorry, we are currently not accepting rental bookings. We’ll keep you informed as and when we resume!” [Hat tip Saurabh Kanwar]
We called the company’s corporate office, and an exec confirmed to MediaNama that Olacabs has indeed stopped accepting rental bookings, citing poor demand behind this move. An email sent to Ola Cabs co-founder Bhavish Agarwal is yet to receive a response. We’ll update in case we hear from them.
Unlike Olacabs, Taxi for sure and Uber are still providing the rental booking services.
Olacabs at present offers ‘city taxi’ which includes commute such as railway station transfers, and airport transfers among others. In February launched Ola Mini cab service in Bangalore under which, a customer will have to pay per kilometre on par with auto charges. The service allows customers to pay using credit cards, debit cards, and net banking. A user can book a service using Olacabs’ mobile apps.
The company currently operates in 12 cities, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Indore, and Lucknow. It was launched in December 2010 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. The service is a marketplace that aggregates cab bookings and car rentals through different private taxi operators, small fleet operators and single vehicle owners.
In July 2014, Olacabs raised 250 crore funding from Steadview Capital, Sequoia Capital & others. Its competitor TaxiForSure raised $10 million in May earlier this year in a round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.
Olacabs competes against TaxiforSure, Meru Cabs, and Uber which arrived in India last year. Uber and many other international companies are struggling with the RBI’s new guidelines which is forcing them into introducing a second factor of authentication, and route transactions through a bank in India. Several companies, including Meru Cabs have come together to fix the security concerns while using cards online.