Travel agents and customers on Via.com platform can now book Ola rides for local and outstation travel through a partnership between Ola Cabs and Via.com. Ola is essentially opening up its services by integrating its API into Via.com, allowing the latter’s customers to access cab booking, availability, estimation and tracking across categories, directly on the Via.com app and website. Ola had opened up its API to developers in September last year.
Via.com mentions that over 75,000 travel agents on its platform will be able to use Ola’s outstation cab booking services for their customers. This further provides a boost to Ola’s outstation cab category, while it looks to competes with similar providers like Bla Bla cars, Ixigo’s intercity cab bookings, Ibibo Group’s car-pooling app Ryde that provides intercity and intracity rides, Uber INTERCITY, and intercity cab aggregator AHA Taxis.
“With this API integration on Via’s website and app, we are unlocking access to seamless on-ground transportation solutions for millions of their customers as well as partners,” said Anuj Sahai, Vice President-Alliances, Ola. While this seems to be Ola’s early enterprise API tie up, its competitor Uber had already opened up its API for several other players: for e.g. Zomato users can book cabs to restaurants of their choice, Apple’s recently announced iOS 10 allows users to book cabs using Siri or Apple Maps.
Ola’s new services: Ola has been ramping up its offerings and introducing new services like hourly car rentals in Mumbai, a luxury car service offering cars like Mercedes, BMW and Audi for its users in Mumbai and outstation cab service from Pune. It recently signed an MoU with Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru to set up an Ola Zone at the airport, allowing drivers easy parking facility and users to hail cabs more quickly.
Yatra to aggregate cabs: In April, Online travel agency Yatra said it will start aggregating cabs from online cab aggregators Ola and Uber on its mobile app starting next week. Users can also book cabs outside their city as well as self-drive cars from companies like Myles, Zoomcar and EasyCabs through tie ups. It charges a commission from cab aggregators for likely each booking.
Read our coverage of online cab aggregators here