Cashed up and on a roll, Indian cab-hailing app Ola will now drive around New Zealand, continuing its global launching spree that started with Australia in February and carried on with the United Kingdom in August.
The ride-hailing service will go up against global rival Uber and New Zealand-based Zoomy across three cities: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Ola, which would charge drivers an introductory commission rate of nine per cent, will make daily payments and offer 24/7 support to its motorists.
Ola's entry in New Zealand comes after it launched services in Australia and UK this year. Ola currently operates in seven major cities in Australia.
Founded in 2011, Ola claims to have a user base of 125 million in India and a network of over one million driver-partners across 110 cities. The company says it facilitates around one billion rides a year.
Ola’s New Zealand foray follows a $50 million (Rs 360 crore) funding in September from two new Chinese investors: Hong Kong-based Sailing Capital and China-Eurasian Economic Co-operation Fund.
Back in India, Uber, Ola’s main rival, has been burning cash not just in the country but in other international markets as well.
After Ola’s lead investor, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, became the largest investor in Uber in December 2017, speculation abounded that Uber could merge its India operations with Ola. In August 2016, Uber had sold its China business to Didi Chuxing.
Ola has also been making a few acquisitions lately. In April, it acquired Ridlr, a public-transport ticketing app, for an undisclosed sum.