Markets

Softbank's Indian Uber challenger brand Ola is launching in the UK

Softbank's Indian Uber challenger brand Ola is launching in the UK

Ola will offer passengers the option of private hire vehicles and licensed taxis through its platform, where it intends to keep adding transportation options.

Just like when it announced its entry into the Australian market in February, Ola seeks to sign up driver partners in cities such as Cardiff, Newport and Vale of Glamorgan, apart from the regions, before opening the platform for customers.

Ola will start services in South Wales over the coming month and is also working with local authorities across the United Kingdom to expand nationwide by the end of this year.

Homegrown cab hailing company Ola has announced its foray into UK.

Ola has obtained licences to operate in South Wales and Greater Manchester, and will launch operations in South Wales within the next month.




The company, which was founded in 2011, has 125 million customers and is already present in 110 cities.

Like Uber, Ola operates a ride-hailing service through an app and relies on the availability of contracted drivers.

Features of Ola cabs in the UK: Ola says it will conduct Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) screening its drivers, offer 24/7 voice support, options to share ride details with emergency contacts and an emergency feature, possibly in the form of an SOS button.

Both companies are backed by Japan's SoftBank Group and recently ventured into the food delivery business, further intensifying their rivalry. "The LTDA claims its drivers, who have average annual earnings of £50,000, have each lost £10,000 a year since Uber began operating in London in 2012", the report adds. However, the USA firm's legal woes continue as the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association said it was seeking advice about potential class action against Uber, over losses to earnings. It is hugely popular in its home market of India, where Uber also operates.

The move also brings one of Uber's latest battles. "The UK is a fantastic place to do business and we look forward to providing a responsible, compelling, new service". The UK would represent only its second global market outside of its home base in India.