$9 billion Uber rival headed to Oz

Founded in 2010, the fierce Uber rival is now one of the world’s biggest ride-sharing companies, with more than 900,000 “driver-partners” in 110 cities in India.

“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation,” Ola co-founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement on Tuesday.

“With a strong focus on driver-partners and the community at large, we aim to create a high-quality and affordable travel experience for citizens and look forward to contributing to a healthy mobility ecosystem in Australia.”

Ola is currently valued at about $US7 billion ($8.7 billion) following a $US1.1 billion capital raise late last year from Chinese internet company Tencent and Japan’s Softbank.

Earlier this month, Indian media reported Ola was eyeing off Australia and New Zealand as key international markets, having already set up operations in neighbouring Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Ola does not yet have a local team but has already opened registrations for Australian private vehicle owners in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Like Uber, Ola has previously come under fire from its drivers for slashing commissions.

frank.chung@news.com.au

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