Ola formulates a pact with Global peers to combat Uber


Ever since Uber arrival in India last year, it has made massive strides in capturing market share from the reigning online cab service, Ola. It has now dethroned Ola from its number one position in the country.

To combat Uber’s market dominance, Ola has inked a pact with global peers – Didi, Lyft and GrabTaxi that will allow users of these ride-sharing apps to seamlessly travel across India, China, the US and Southeast Asia. The partnership will enable the companies to jointly compete with US-based Uber that has a presence across 67 countries.

A joint statement said that the new alliance will cover nearly all of Southeast Asia, India, China and the US, reaching nearly 50% of the world’s population. Joint partner products will start rolling out in the January-March 2016 quarter, it added.

US company Lyft and Chinese player Didi Kuaidi had inked a similar partnership in September.  Didi is an investor in Ola, Lyft and GrabTaxi. Ola has a presence in 102 Indian cities, while Didi’s platform provides 7 million rides per day across 360 Chinese cities. Similarly, Lyft in the US sees seven million rides a month across over 190 cities and GrabTaxi sees up to 1.5 million daily bookings across six countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) in Southeast Asia.

The global alliance will allow these companies to collaborate and leverage each other’s technology, local market knowledge and business resources so that international travelers can seamlessly access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use at home, the statement said. Each company will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API in their country of operation, it added.

Though the companies did not elaborate, the partnership may allow users to pay for rides in other countries using the app they use in the home country which should come across as a pleasant gift for frequent overseas travelers.

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