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Ola looks to expand to Australia, New Zealand: reports

Online cab aggregator Ola Cabs is looking to expand to Australia and New Zealand now, as indicated by this Business Standard report. Though details on the expansion are scant, the company was also reported to expand to other countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and has teams in Dhaka and Colombo.

The development comes in the background of Ola raising $1.1 billion in October led by Tencent Holdings Limited and existing investor SoftBank. SoftBank is also a common investor in its rival Uber which picked up 15% stake in the company for an investment of $1.25 billion along with other investors.

Note that Uber is already present in Australia but will face competition from other cab aggregators such as Taxify which opened operations in the country recently. Taxify has a connection with Uber as well. Chinese online taxi company Didi picked up a minority stake in Taxify for an undisclosed amount. Uber sold its China business for a 20% stake in the company for a reported exit of $1 billion in August 2016.

Meanwhile in India, despite the virtual Ola and Uber duopoly in the cab aggregation space, new players are entering the market.

  • Vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd recently said that it is set to foray into ride-hailing and cab aggregation business, and intends to not only make the product like low cost, spacious, urban electric taxis, but also plans to invest in the ride-sharing space.
  • Online motorbike taxi company Baxi said that it will enter cab aggregation for which it partnered with various taxi unions in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru.
  • Autorickshaw aggregator Jugnoo said recently that it has plans to enter into cab aggregation services to diversify its business.
  • Chaalak Shakti, a cab union in Delhi launched its own taxi-hailing app in May this year, called SEWA to counter Ola and Uber.

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