There soon will be an alternative in the UK for Uber after Ola, the ride-hailing company based in India announced its plans to launch its business in the country, establishing its first market in Europe.
In 2010 Ola was founded and has business established in 110 cities across India where it has licensed rickshaws, taxis and private hire vehicles through a network that includes more than one million drivers.
The company raised close to $3 billion from several investors including SoftBank, Didi Chuxing and Tencent both from China, and DST Global. The company was given a value of $7 billion.
Ola took its business overseas when it launched earlier in 2018 in Australia, it now has operations in seven cities there and the move it just announced into the UK is a signal of more expansion across Europe.
Ola’s service in the UK is not live yet, but the ride-hailing company announced that it would start offering private hire and licensed taxi bookings initially in Greater Manchester and South Wales soon.
Ola is planning to expand coverage nationwide prior to the end of 2018. That will mean it will eventually be taking on Uber as well as Taxify, another startup that Didi supports, which is considering relaunching in London and other major UK cities.
Co-founder and CEO at Ola Bhavish Aggarwal said the UK was a fantastic location to do business while adding he looked forward to providing a compelling, responsible, new service that helps to meet the ever-growing mobility needs of the country.
Uber has had its problems in London as it has run into serious problems with city regulators, but has just about won a 15-month provisional transport license following an appeal against the transportation regulator Transport of London, after having its application rejected.
Ola is not making any comments directly toward Uber, but rather focusing on what it needs in the form of groundwork to launch in London. Last year Aggarwal held meetings with London regulators and said in Tuesday’s statement that he is planning continued engagement with regulators and policymakers, as the services by Ola expand in the UK.
Expanding overseas is equally important to Ola as its ambition to go public. Recently Aggarwal said that could take place within three or four years.