Online cab aggregator Ola has expanded service to its second city in Australia, with a launch in Sydney today. It has hired a local team to build partnerships and support driver-partners in the city. The company started its operation in Australia with Perth last month, and according to its website, it plans to enter Melbourne next.
The company has not shared details of the fare but said that Sydney-based riders will get to ride on introductory prices. The fare in the city is AUD 1 per kilometre. Ola claims to have bagged 7,000 registrations within a month from driver-partners in Perth.
Ola will face tough competition in Australia: Uber is already present in Australia, with nearly 82,000 active drivers in the country; Europe-based Taxify also set up shop there recently. Taxify operates in 20 cities across Australia and New Zealand. Chinese online taxi company Didi picked up a minority stake in Taxify for an undisclosed amount. Didi also has a stake in Ola, and bought Uber’s China business for a reported $1 billion in August 2016.
Ola has been looking to expand to other counties such as New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and has teams in Dhaka and Colombo. This comes after it raised $1.1 billion in October last year, led by Tencent Holdings Limited and existing investor SoftBank. SoftBank is also a investor in its rival Uber which picked up 15% stake in the company for an investment of $1.25 billion along with other investors.
Its teams in Sri Lanka are in a spot of trouble, though: the company has already been accused of “commercial espionage” by competitor PickMe.