Indian cab-hailer Ola cruised into the streets of London on Monday, with 25,000 drivers registered on a platform offering rides in a market estimated to be worth nearly $3 billion.
The move comes on the back of rival Uber losing its licence to ply in London on safety concerns. Global media reports say that the license loss is due to the government’s stance to Uber’s alleged lack of responsibility by using bogus background checks on drivers and by failing to report criminal offences by its drivers. However, Uber has managed to overcome the legal challenge and has got a 15-month probationary license to operate in London.
In July last year, Ola was granted a one-year Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licence from the Transport of London — a body that oversees the cities’ transportation — to operate its services in the city, according to a disclosure made by the department. Ola’s licence is valid until October 3 this year.
“London is truly the beginning of our journey to be the preeminent global force and player in our industry. Very few Indian brands have gone global with this scale and ambition and our journey and success will become a benchmark,“ Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola said.
Ola began its international foray in February 2018 by launching in Australia, followed by the UK in August and New Zealand in November 2018.
In the UK, Ola is present across 28 regions with a network of over 30,000 drivers.