Olas global march continues as it eyes United Kingdom entry within a month

Ola,Cab-riding app,Cab aggregators

Less than a year after launching in Australia, India's largest cab-hailing start-up Ola is planning to launch its service in the UK.

Homegrown ride-hailing unicorn Ola announced on Tuesday that it will foray into a second worldwide market by launching services in the United Kingdom, taking its turf war with US-headquartered Uber to another territory.

Ola, backed by Japan's Softbank Group, has obtained licences to begin operations in South Wales in September, as well as Greater Manchester, and plans to expand country-wide by the end of the year, it said in a statement.

Mint first reported on May 28 that Ola is adopting a holding company structure similar to that of India's most successful internet startup Flipkart to boost the cab-hailing company's valuation and improve the management of its businesses.

"The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service that can help the country meet its ever demanding mobility needs", Aggrawal continued.

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Uber, Ola's main rival in India, dominates the Australian market and will offer competition in Britain as well.

Ola may also face local competition in the form of Uber's closest U.S. rival, Lyft, which has been in talks to start services in London.

Ola will be offering passengers the option of private hired vehicles and black cabs on its platform. The company claims to have 125 million customers across the globe. Ola was reportedly raising $2 billion from SoftBank and other investors last October, and the Japanese firm took a 20% stake in Uber at the beginning of this year.

While he didn't mention Uber or its recent troubles as a concern, Aggrawal said Ola will be focusing on engaging with authorities throughout the process.

Starting Tuesday Ola is inviting Private Hire Vehicle and Metered Taxi drivers in Cardiff, Newport and Vale of Glamorgan to register with Ola.

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