Can Ola Beat Uber on the Indian Roads? With this acquisition, Ola could put back the focus on bettering its product

By Sanchita Dash

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In order to bring perfection to the operations of our cabwaala Bhaiyas (brother) as the drivers are honorifically called in India, reports suggest that Indian cab aggregator Ola has acquired transportation app Ridlr.

Earlier this year, Ola put its first foot overseas with an expansion into the Australian market. With acquisitions and expansion going hand in hand, one can't help but wonder – is Ola trying to outdo its rival Uber?

Entrepreneur India takes a look at how Ola's latest acquisition could help in company's growth and how its steering up for the long haul.

With Ridlr, Navigation Puzzle Solved

How many times have you made distress calls to your Ola driver, hoping against hope that he/she doesn't get lost in bylanes and the navigation works as it should? Well, you are not the only one. Now, it seems Ola too is no more okay with navigational errors.

Ridlr is an end-to-end public transport ticketing and commuting app that fulfils a commuter's daily intra-city travel needs. It enables users to plan their travel by searching for and booking their preferred mode of public transport, offering unique pay-and-commute solutions for multimodal transportation and enabling Indians to travel smarter and cashless on public transport.

Ola could hop on Ridlr's navigation technology to implement the same on its app. At the same time, Ridlr's presence in booking inter and intra-city travels through trains and buses, could further help Ola expand its own intra-city services. Ola already offers the Ola Hire option for outstation travels.

This could be a good move for Ola as it puts back its focus on revising the product and making it better for its users.

Acquisitions by Ola

In their journey of growth, Ola has not been aloof of acquisitions. It's spree of acquisitions include that of its rival company the budget-centric TaxiForSure in 2015 for USD 200 million. However, in 2016 Ola announced that it has shutdown the operations of TaxiForSure.

Ola then went on to acquire Geotagg – a trip planning applications company. This acquisition too was made by the cab hailing company to focus on its bus shuttle services.

An important step was made by Ola when it decided to buy out the payments company Qarth. In order to make the operations of Ola Money more seamless, it was also reported that the founders of Qarth joined the Ola Money team.

One of Ola's most talked about acquisitions has been that of the food delivery company Foodpanda. Ola had earlier launched its own food delivery service called Ola Cafe but unfortunately had to shut it down as it couldn't keep up with its operations. With the acquisition of Foodpanda, Ola is looking at renewing the services which could also give tough competition to UberEats which has just started up in India.

Funding to Race Past Uber

According to latest reports, Ola is also looking at raising USD 1 billion from Singapore-based Temasek Holdings. Earlier in 2017, the company had raised USD 1.1 Billion from Tencent and Softbank. Reports mention that Ola is trying to diversify its investor base and is readying itself to race past Uber in the cab aggregator space.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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