Shreya Ganguly | Inc42
Homegrown ride hailing company Ola, has now announced that it has launched its services in New Zealand and is offering rides to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
The company had announced its plans to expand to the island country in September.
According to the company, rides can currently be booked within the three major cities and also from Auckland and Wellington airports.
Further, in order to celebrate the launch, the company has also declared 50% off on all Ola rides for the first month.
New Zealand users can now download the mobile application and register an account to avail Ola’s cab services.
Keeping in mind, the safety and security of the customers, Ola cabs will include several features ride tracking and an in-app emergency button, which allows customers to instantly share important information such as, location coordinates, vehicle and driver information with their family and emergency services.
According to the company, every vehicle has been inspected to ensure that is worthy to be run on the roads. Also, all the drives have undergone police inspection.
Brian Dewil who was recently appointed as Ola’s New Zealand Country Manager said, “Entering New Zealand is an important step for Ola, and the ridesharing industry here. Over recent weeks, we’ve received enthusiastic feedback from drivers across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.”
Ola’s Search For Fresh Markets
In February, Ola had launched its services in Perth, Australia, and had also reportedly set up teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Colombo, Sri Lanka. Further, it also expanded its operation in Sydney in March this year.
In order to boost its presence in the ride hailing space, Ola is reportedly finalising $100 Mn investment from existing investor, Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital, which will reportedly boost its valuation to $5.5-6.5 Bn.
Though the company’s operating loss widened 32% to $543.5 Mn (INR 3,731 Cr) in FY17, the company is aiming to be profitable this year.
Earlier this year, the company had announced that it has started making profits on every ride after taking into account expenses such as driver incentives and customer discounts in the home ground.
Ola has been aggressively aiming to be the top ride hailing company, working aggressively to boost its valuation and also expand its services in the international market..
At present, the company is also in a tussle with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, who was reportedly in talks to buy Ola shares from Tiger Global. However, the company blocked the proposed deal and also amended its Articles of Association to prevent SoftBank from buying more shares in Ola without approval from the company’s founders and board.
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