Ola (ANI Technologies) has invested Rs 100 crore into its wholly owned car leasing subsidiary Ola Fleet Technologies Pvt. Ltd., according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). This investment happened in June, which adds on to the Rs 50 crore Ola invested in its leasing subsidiary in March this year.

Ola had acquired Gurgaon-based radio taxi operator GCabs in January 2015, which was subsequently rebranded as Ola Fleet Technologies. Later in the same year, in September, Ola launched its cab leasing service for drivers, which lets them lease a car for a deposit and monthly lease payments, with an option to own the vehicle after 3 years. The company had also committed to an initial investment of Rs 500 crore.

At the time of the launch, drivers needed to pay Rs 35,000 as a joining fee, while monthly lease rental started from Rs 15,000 including routine maintenance costs. After 3 years, the driver had the option of owning the car, with a 20% payment of the residual lease value.

Ola’s VP of strategic supply initiatives, Rahul Maroli was initially heading the leasing business. In January this year, Ola appointed Shalabh Seth as the CEO of Ola Fleet Technologies, and made him responsible for supply and growth through leasing and other driver focused initiatives.

Uber’s leasing service

A couple of months after Ola debuted its leasing service, Uber had partnered Mumbai-based leasing firm Xchange Leasing to lease cars to its drivers. Initially, this service was piloted in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore before being expanded to other cities. It must be noted that globally Uber already had leasing partnerships with General Motors and Toyota Motors among others. Last year, between June and September, Uber had invested Rs 200 crore in Xchange Leasing, after investing Rs 43 crore in it between January and March 2016. In September 2016, the company had also said that it would lease over 200,000 cabs to drivers in India who wanted to join its platform through the UberShaan initiative, which essentially works through Xchange Leasing.

State of Uber and Ola drivers in India

In India, drivers have been demanding better incentive structures as their earnings have started falling. The drivers say that they are not able to make their ends meet or pay EMIs for their car loans. In February this year, we saw the first instance where an Ola driver tried to kill himself by consuming poison in a strike in Bangalore. Reduced earnings was the most common complaint among drivers MediaNama spoke to across the Delhi-NCR region, Mumbai and Bangalore. More on this here.