Founded in 2011, Ola is one of the largest ridesharing companies in the world. Ola relies on advanced technology that acts as a bridge between taxi owners and customers. The company utilizes a hyperlocal approach to its business, which has been instrumental in providing affordable and 24/7 mobility to millions of customers.
Ola offers a wide range of options to customers, everything from cabs, taxis, shared cabs, auto, e-rickshaws, and luxury cars. Ola rides come with advanced security features, which ensure the safety of passengers. In-cab entertainment options, cashless rides and Ola credit have made this cab aggregator a popular choice for customers.
The idea for Ola came to co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal when he had a harrowing experience with car rental services. Bhavish had started his tours and holidays business and on a business trip, he had rented a car to travel from Bengaluru to Bandipur. Once the car had reached somewhere around midway, the driver started demanding more money for the trip. When Bhavish did not agree, the driver left him en route to his destination.
This is when Bhavish realized how bad the situation was for people who wanted to use car rental services in India. He also realized the huge potential that was there in the car rental business. This inspired him to change his tours and holidays business into a cab booking service. In 2010, Ankit Bhati joined Bhavish in the initiative and they launched Ola Cabs in 2011. Ola currently operates in more than 110 cities and has driver-partners in excess of 10 lakh. Its fleet has more than 9 lakh vehicles that serve millions of customers every day.
Ola has received investments worth $3 billion through 14 rounds of funding. Top investors include SoftBank, Tencent Holdings, Yes Bank, Tekne Capital, and Falcon Edge Capital.
Ola has acquired 5 companies till date:
- TaxiForSure, a cab aggregator, was acquired in 2015
- Geotagg, a trip planning application startup, was acquired in 2015
- Qarth, a mobile payments firm, was acquired in 2016
- Foodpanda India, a mobile food delivery marketplace, was acquired in 2017
- Ridlr, a public transport ticketing and commuting app, was acquired in 2018
Ola competes with other ridesharing companies such as Uber.
About the Founders:
Ola was founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. Bhavish is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and he currently serves as the CEO of Ola. Prior to launching Ola, Bhavish had worked with Microsoft Research for two years. Ankit Bhati is also an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and he currently serves as the CTO of Ola. His primary responsibilities include product management, data sciences and engineering.