Uber rival ‘Ola’ coming to Australia

Uber rival'Ola' coming to Australia
Ola ride-share car. Photo: Facebook

Ola, an Indian ride-sharing company, is set to launch down under in the coming months.

The Uber rival has become one of the largest ride-sharing companies in the world after being founded in 2010. Ola currently has over 900,000 driving partners across 110 Indian cities.

On Tuesday, co-founder and CEO Bharvish Aggarwal said that they were “very excited to be launching Ola in Australia”.

He also continued on to say that he was hopeful that Ola would be able to “create a high quality and affordable travel experience…contributing to a health mobile ecosystem in Australia”.

The business currently earns approximately US$150 million in revenue each year and is valued at a US$7 billion dollars, helped by a US$1.1 billion capital raise at the end of last year.

Ola is similar to Uber however differs in its range of services as well as how consumers are able to pay for the services. They provide a large range of services from basic to luxury travel and also offer modes of transport outside of cars.

Ola offer rickshaw and bike services of which the bike services can be a self-pedaled bike or a tandem with someone doing to work for you. They also accept cash and cashless payments but the money must be used to buy ‘Ola money’ that is then used to pay for the services.

Like Uber, however, all of the bookings and payments do go through a mobile app making it convenient for users.

As seems to be commonplace for these ride-share companies, Ola has had their fair share of complaints, mostly regarding cuts in payment for drivers. From January 2017 they have been regularly receiving complaints from drivers about the constant dropping of driver incentives.

The impact this has had on their monthly income has come under fire and protests have ensued outside Ola offices in Hyderabad.

There have also been reports of technological glitches in 2016 with regards to privacy breaches and refunds. Media attention around these issues was prominent in India.

This issue is not dissimilar to Uber in 2016 and both companies supposedly fixed the issues in the proceeding weeks but were quick to deny claims.

Ola is currently planning on launching in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in the coming months having successfully launched in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in recent months.

They do not currently have a team or offices set up in Sydney but have already opened registrations for drivers.