A look back:
Ola Cabs (logo styled as OLΛ), is an Indian Ecommerce based transportation network company (TNC) which offers door to door services to the customers. Their services include share rides, ride service hailing, and taxi, also recently they have added a feature for food delivery too.
Ola Cabs was founded by two alumni of IIT Bombay Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati on 3 December 2010 in Mumbai and is now based out of Bangalore. Bhavish has done a B Tech in Computer Science and Ankit Bhati has done B.Tech and M Tech from IIT Bombay. Bhavish earlier worked in Microsoft Research, Bangalore for 2 years after his B Tech and while he was chasing his dream of entrepreneurship, he started an online start-up for holiday and tour planning service which he later changed into OlaCabs, whereas Ankit has previously worked with few start-up companies before joining OlaCabs.
What made OlaCab to emerge from nowhere:
This is when Bhavish was working on his holiday and tours business and one day had to travel from Bangalore to Bandipur for the same and for this he rented out a car, which made him go through a very bad experience. The driver suddenly stopped the car and started demanding for extra money from Bhavish apart from the travel fair deal and that too in the middle of the journey. And when Bhavish refused to do so, he told him that he will abandon him Enroute his destination.
With this incident Bhavish realised how his trouble must be similar to a lot of people across the country struggling to get a decent cab service, but ended up with a one that arrived and dropped them off late, didn’t stick to their promises, stood them up and may became with this kind of drivers creating a nightmares behind wheels.
This was the day Bhavish could sense the potential that an astonishing cab booking service could have and that the reason behind him changing his earlier start-up to the OlaCabs which everyone knows today. In December 2010, Ankit Bhati who is now a co-founder at OlaCabs has joined his start-up journey.
OlaCabs offers various levels of services, starting from cost-effective to luxury cabs. One can book these cabs through the mobile app as well as through their website. Both of these services also accept either cash or cashless payments with a feature called Ola money. Ola considers the few factors to create the final bill for the user that includes, Base Fare, Distance Fare (different for different cities), Ride Time Fare, Peak Pricing, 5.6% of Service Tax, 0.2% of Swacch Bharat Tax, Toll Charges if any.
Driver investment and real earnings – If you wish to join OlaCabs as a driver in India, you need to initially spend approximately Rs. 1 to 1.5 lakh. Once you are registered with OlaCabs, you can earn up to Rs. 20-25,000 per month after working for 12–14 hours a day, making 3200 rides with a rating of 4.75 and above.
Strategic expansion/ Acquisitions
As in the year 2018, the OlaCabs have expanded to a huge network of more than 10,00,000 vehicles throughout 169 cities in India.
In November 2014, Ola broaden their horizons by incorporating auto-rickshaws and started a trial in Bangalore city and after their trial phase got a popularity, Ola decided to expand the same in other cities like Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad and now you can see the Ola autos are all the major cities of the country.
In 2014 Ola also acquired “Taxiforsure”, a Taxi service based out of Bengaluru for Approximately Rs. 1394 Cr and later in the year by November month Ola further bought a trip planning Application Company that is Geotagg.
In a strategic move of expanding beyond cab business, Ola acquired Foodpanda in 2017 when it was a struggling food tech company and with an eye on leveraging the drastically growing food delivery segment business.
Later in April 2018, Ola made its second big acquisition with a public transport ticketing app “Ridlr” and in August 2018 Ola also financed the scooter rent startup named Vogo, and in December, again invested further $100 million.
Funding / Investors
In view of Ola is an 8 years old startup, it is valued at $6 billion company as of today and that makes it the third-highest valued consumer internet company in India. OlaCabs has received much funding from various investors over the short span of 8 years helping them grow rapidly.
In 2014, Ola received $40 million funds from Steadview Capital and Sequoia Capital and later by October month they again got the funding of $210 million from SoftBank Group, Tiger Global and Matrix Partners India.
By the start of the year 2015, they again received big funding of $403 million from DST Global, GIC and Falcon Edge Capital and by end of 2015, the further got the funding of $500 million from various groups named Baillie Gifford, Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global, SoftBank Group and DST Global.
From 2017 till 2019 they have received various fundings from several groups named as RNT Capital Advisors and Falcon Edge Capital, SoftBank Group, Tencent’s Holdings, Sailing Capital, Steadview Capital and Sachin Bansal.
OlaCabs was developed by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd and as of May 2019, it is valued at about $6.2 billion with Softbank having its largest stakes in the company. In January 2018, Ola decided to extend into their first-ever overseas market, Australia, and later slowly in New Zealand in September 2018. In March 2019, Ola started its operations in the UK introducing their Auto Rickshaw schemes which received a quite a good popularity amongst the customers.
As of today, OlaClabs claims to get an average of more than 15 lakhs of bookings per day and acquires 60% of the Indian market share.
OlaCabs – Competitors
All of us know Uber the world’s most well-financed Start-up (raised more than $15 million funds) which is a direct competitor of Ola. Ola also has many other competitions in India such as MeruCabs Company Pvt. Ltd. (Owns Meru cabs), Zoomcar India Private Ltd (owns Zoomcar) and Carzonrent (India) Pvt. Ltd (owns a car on rent). In a bike taxi, Rapido is slowly trying to capture Ola’s market share.
In 2016, OlaCabs technology got into criticism regarding the security of its mobile app, when one time a privacy breach occurred and a Bangalore based customer’s details such as his name, address and phone number, were received as SMS messages by an individual in Chennai. At the start, the company ignored this but later the issue was fixed three weeks later after receiving social media attention and coverage.
Non-transparency in policies – The refund policy of OlaCabs is also criticized many times because of improper charges caused by technical glitches in their system. There were 190 negative reviews on Ola Cabs as of 2018 which were posted on TripAdvisor by unhappy customers. Surge pricing was again an issue with many Ola customers.
Driver concerns – Since January 2017 OlaCabs has been highly criticized for constantly dropping the driver incentives by affecting driver’s monthly income.
Assaults on and Murders of Ola cab drivers – Till now, There are over 90 cases of kidnapping and robbery of drivers and 11 cases of murders registered against the App-based cab aggregators including Ola. The most recent case was held in the city of Pune in June 2019 when a customer killed the driver to take his car along with it there were two other murders of Ola drivers took place in Noida and Agra as well.