Cab Aggregator Unicorn Ola Acquires Artificial Intelligence Platform Pickup.ai

This move is aimed at developing deep tech solutions for mobility

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Bengaluru-based cab aggregator unicorn Ola has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence platform Pickup.ai. As part of the deal, the co-founders and employees of Pikup.ai will join the Ola team. 

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When it comes to technology, Ola has been leveraging a lot and has been scaling volumes of success and growth. Its Electric Vehicle arm Ola Electric Mobility became one of the fastest unicorns in India last month. The company too highlighted its commitment and intent of investing in technology especially AI and ML to build futuristic mobility solutions for India and the world.

Ola's Acquisition Journey

The Indian unicorn has pumped big pennies in its M&A deals though the total number of acquisitions done is 5 unlike its fellow unicorns Quickr and Paytm that have 15 and 11 acquisitions in their kitty. Ola’s acquisitions include Ridlr, Geotagg, TaxiForSure.com etc. While acquiring Ridlr paid off enormously for Ola, not all acquisitions turned out to be great deals. In 2015, the cab aggregator bought TaxiForSure.com for US$200 million and the very next year in 2016, it was announced that the operations for the rival-turned-acquired company had shutdown . 

However, it was the ride-hailing platform’s acquisition of FoodPanda that was most-talked about and one that also gave it a comfortable position in the Indian food market as well. Acquiring the food delivery platform gave its arch rival, the U.S.A-based Uber and its food-eating initiative, Uber Eats a run for its money.

An Impending Move?

Pickup.ai is an artificial intelligence start-up. Coming under the umbrella of Ola will prove to be a win-win for both. Ola would leverage the AI aspect to its advantage that will ensure better, faster, improved and seamless services.

Ankit Bhati, Co-founder & CTO, Ola said, “As we advance on our mission to build mobility for a billion people, we are investing in futuristic technology solutions that will shape the future of mobility in India and the world. We are very excited to welcome the Pikup.ai team to Ola and we look forward to co-creating innovative technology that will help redefine the mobility experience in the times to come.”

Incidentally, Ola’s arch rival acquired an AI startup, Mighty AI in the month of June this year. 

Inder Singh, Co-founder Pikup.ai said, “Ola is one of the world’s most admired mobility platforms and has pioneered many innovations in mobility and beyond in such a short span of time. We are looking forward to joining Ola on its mission to build mobility for a billion people and are very excited about building meaningful technology solutions that have a deep impact on the lives of millions, every single day.”

Talks are also on for Ola to set up an Advanced Technology Centre in the San Francisco Bay area, to focus on developing next-generation technologies in mobility like Electric, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

Bhavya Kaushal

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I am a work-in-progress writer and human being. An English graduate from Delhi University, writing is my passion and currently, I am Entrepreneur India's start-up reporter. I love covering start-ups and weaving their stories into unforgettable tales with the power of ink!