Homegrown ride-hailing company Ola has said that it will set up its first technology centre in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is a region in Northern California spanning the city of San Francisco and surrounding counties. The centre will focus on developing next-generation technologies in mobility including electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.
In a statement, Ola said that it will build a team of around 150 engineers for its centre, hailing from backgrounds of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data sciences, engineering and product development.
Ola hived off its electric vehicle arm, Ola Electric Mobility, in April 2018, which raised an undisclosed amount in a Series A round from Tata Sons former chairman Ratan Tata in May 2019. In March 2019, Ola Electric Mobility raised Rs 400 crore from Tiger Global Management and Matrix Partners, among others.
Ola, founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, also runs Ola Fleet Technologies and public transportation ticketing app Ridlr. The SoftBank-backed unicorn raised $300 million in March from South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
In May, Ola’s Foodpanda suspended food delivery. However, in-house brands or cloud kitchens will continue operations at Foodpanda India, which was acquired by Ola 18 months ago. The cloud kitchens come from Foodpanda India’s acquisition of Mumbai-based Holachef in October 2018.
Ola has close to 1.5 million driver partners across India, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.