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Rediff.com  » Business » Ola launches app for fleet owners to take on Uber

Ola launches app for fleet owners to take on Uber

June 04, 2016 09:52 IST

The new Ola app will allow fleet owners to track their cars in real-time, view the performance of their drivers, and even their daily earnings

Ola, a taxi-hailing app, is trying to get small taxi operators in its fold with the launch of an app for fleet owners.

Ola, which is modelled on the San Francisco-based Uber, needs more drivers on its platform to increase the number of rides it can fulfil, which helps it gain market share.

“With this launch (in Mumbai), Ola aims to add tens of thousands of new operators to its platform,” the company said in a statement. Ola claims to have more than 350,000 cars on its platform and is trying to scale up as Uber readies a fresh fund infusion into its Indian arm.

The new Ola app will allow fleet owners to track their cars in real-time, view the performance of their drivers, and even their daily earnings. The app will help manage one car to a large fleet of taxis.

Neighbourhood taxi operators run fleets of four or five cars servicing local travel. Launched in 2008, Ola ran them out of business by allowing users to book taxis online or on a smartphone at subsidised rates. This was possible because of the funds Ola raised from private equity investors.

Today, the company controls 60-65 per cent of a market estimated to be worth $1.2 billion in gross booking value, according to consulting firm RedSeer.

Uber, which came to India in August 2013, engaged in a price war with Ola that further reduced fares and helped it capture 35-40 per cent of the market. Now Uber plans to mobilise a large chunk of the $3.5 billion it raised from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia to take on Ola in India.

“Tens of thousands of driver-partners who joined us with a single car have grown to become operators owning many cars,” said Sumit Tuteja, senior director at Ola. “We believe the technology needs for entrepreneurs to succeed at scale are different from what helped them grow as driver-partners.”

Small taxi operators

Ola, a taxi-hailing app, is trying to get small taxi operators in its fold with the launch of an app for fleet owners

350,000 cars

Ola claims to have on its platform and is trying to scale up as Uber readies a fresh fund infusion into its Indian arm

New Ola app

Will allow taxi operators to track their cars in real-time, view performance of their drivers, and even their daily earnings

Image: Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola. Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters.

Alnoor Peermohamed in Bengaluru