Online cab booking service Olacabs.com, run by Mumbai-based ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, has launched a 'pink cabs' service exclusively for women passengers. These cabs are driven by women drivers and will only allow female passengers to board them. The service is currently available in Bangalore.
For the service, the firm is charging a minimum of Rs 200 for the first 5 kilometres, and then Rs 18 for each km, besides Rs 2 per minute as ride time charges. This works out to be more expensive than even the premium service of the firm called 'Ola Prime', which charges a minimum of Rs 800 for the first 30 kms.
While further information on the service is not available as of now, we have contacted the firm for the same, and will update the story as and when we get it.
In this vertical, Ola will compete with regional women-exclusive taxi services including Mumbai-based Priyadarshini Taxis & Viira Cabs, Hyderabad-based She Cabs, Bangalore-based Angel City Cabs, Delhi-based Sakha & GCabs among others.
Olacabs was founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. The firm recently raised $210 million from Japanese internet and telecom giant SoftBank. Previously, it raised Rs 250 crore ($41.8 million) in its Series C round of funding led by Hong Kong-based equity hedge fund Steadview Capital and Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital. Existing investors Matrix Partners India and Tiger Global Management also participated in this round.
In November last year, Olacabs had raised its Series B round of funding led by Matrix Partners India for a big minority stake, with participation from existing investor Tiger Global Management. Although the company had not disclosed the amount at the time, media reports pegged it at $20 million. Prior to that, it had raised Rs 19.2 crore ($3.2 million) from existing investor Tiger Global in July the same year, which was believed to be part of the same round.
Back in 2012, the company had raised over $5 million in its Series A funding from Tiger Global. Prior to that, it had raised angel funding from a bunch of individual investors, including Rehan Yar Khan and Anupam Mittal.
In the cab booking segment, Ola is mainly competing with Google Ventures-backed Uber, which came into India last October, and domestic players such as TaxiForSure (backed by Accel Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners), Savaari, taxiGUIDE and Cabs24X7.
Recently, Taxiforsure.com had also installed a panic button on the rear passenger seat in 200 cars in Bangalore and 100 cars in Delhi. Once pressed, the button sends an emergency signal to the company's control room.