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India's Ola Launches in London

India's Ola Launches in London

There are 27 unicron startups from India, each worth over a billion dollars. At least two of them have expanded beyond India’s shores, Oyo which provides hotel rooms and Ola, a ride sharing service.  While Ola has expanded to a number of countries recently, it just seized upon its biggest opportunity ever as Uber lost its license for London.  The Indian ride-hailing app today announced it had begun on-boarding drivers in London and would launch in the coming weeks. The company had an apparent jab at Uber, saying the launch meant “50,000 licensed drivers will now be assured that they can continue to provide mobility services in London”.

The announcement comes just one day after Transport for London (TfL) refused to grant Uber a new operating licence for a “pattern of failures” around passenger safety. The regulator said it was not confident the app had a “robust system for protecting passenger safety”, after it found unlicensed and uninsured drivers using the platform.

Ride-hailing app Ola
Ride-hailing app Ola

The Silicon Valley giant will appeal the decision and can continue to operate in the capital during this process.  Ola launched in the U.K. in Cardiff last year and now has drivers in Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, Reading, Bristol, Bath, Coventry and Warwick.   Simon Smith, Head of International, Ola said: “We have built a robust mobility platform for London which is fully compliant with TfL’s high standards.

“We have had constructive conversations with the authorities, drivers, and local communities in London over the past months, and look forward to contributing towards solving mobility issues in innovative and meaningful ways.”

Ola’s launch announcement comes as it was revealed that competing ride-hailing app Bolt is just weeks away from securing $100 million  in new funding.

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