India’s ride-hailing application Ola announced on Tuesday that it will begin offering its services in Australia in the coming months – the first time the Indian company will compete with its biggest rival Uber, abroad.
The company said it has started looking for private hire vehicle owners and driver partners in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation,” Bhavish Aggarwal (pictured above), co-founder and chief executive officer at Ola, said in a company statement.
He said Ola has a “strong focus on driver-partners and the community at large”, and that the company looks forward to “contributing to a healthy mobility ecosystem in Australia”.
Currently, Australia has two ride-hailing services – Uber and GoCatch. While Uber brought the services in the country in 2015, GoCatch is backed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex, The Economic Times reported.
This is only the second time that Ola has ventured into the international market. It began services in Bangladesh in 2017.
In India, Ola was launched in 2011. It has around 125 million users, 1 million drivers and covers 110 cities.
Ola’s expansion comes just months after its investor, Japanese conglomerate Softbank Group, helped it raise $1.2 billion. Ola may use a portion of that to test waters in foreign countries, The Economic Times quoted an official as saying.