Ola is a name that needs no introduction. Ola, India’s first cab aggregator company, has made obtaining cab services a breeze. Ola, formerly known as Ola Cabs and owned by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd., was founded in December 2010 by two IIT Bombay graduates. Ola is a service that connects cab drivers and commuters.
Ola partners with a number of taxi drivers and owners and adds a touch of modern technology to the overall setup rather than buying and renting out its own cars. This allows users to book cabs on the go using Ola’s app. Ola is India’s own ride-hailing app, with a market share of just under 50% (according to Uber’s 2020 projection).
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The procedure of reserving a cab with Ola has been simplified. Ola takes care of everything to ensure a seamless trip, from convenient payment options to keeping passengers occupied on the go with ‘Ola Play.’ Ola now offers self-driving cars as well. Ola offers a wide choice of automobiles to pick from depending on the number of passengers, affordability, and convenience, whether self-driving or hailing a cab. Ola may be used to rent shared taxis, vehicles, bikes, and even e-rickshaws for transport throughout the city.
To travel outside of the city, use ‘Ola outstation’ or ‘Ola rentals’ to rent a cab on an hourly basis. Ola has also established ‘Ola select,’ a membership program that gives premium features on rides and is based on a subscription model. With over 500 cycles, ‘Ola pedal,’ Ola’s bicycle-sharing service, is already a major hit on the IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras campuses.
Ola introduced ‘Ola corporate’ in 2016. The fare is debited from the company’s Ola corporate prepaid account when employees book trips through Ola corporate. As a result, businesses can simply track their employees’ travel expenses while also ensuring their safety.
Ola has also developed its own currency, Ola money. Ola money credit card, Ola money postpaid, Ola money mobile wallet, and Ola money hospices are the services provided by Ola money. Ola hospices is a partnership between Ola and Religare Health Insurance that allows policyholders to recover Rs. 5000 each day if they are admitted to the hospital.
Ola is a transparent company. Every sale generates a commission for the drivers. Ola is noted for charging far less than other taxi companies. Ola entered the cloud kitchen area with the acquisition of FoodPanda in December 2017.
On May 26, 2017, Ola launched India’s first multimodal electric car project. To pioneer electric vehicles for the public and encourage shared mobility in Nagpur, the project brought together industry professionals and the Indian government. Ola has 200+ electric vehicles available for booking in Nagpur via its app. Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd, which was formed as a distinct organization in July 2019, also became a unicorn after receiving a $250 million investment from SoftBank.
Ola Electric has secured $100 million in debt financing from the Bank of Baroda, claiming it to be the largest long-term debt financing deal in the Indian EV business. These funds will be used to fund and close the first phase of the development of the company’s electric two-wheeler manufacturing factory, which is based in Chennai, according to the company.
According to OLA’s December 2020 statement, the business had already indicated that Phase 1 of the factory will be built with Rs 2,400 crore in capital.
Pre-bookings for Ola Electric scooters have already begun, with over 1 lakh reservations made. According to Bhavish Aggarwal’s latest Twitter post, the company will eventually introduce them on August 15, 2021.
Ola Electric scooters will be available for purchase on their website and through the Ola app starting September 15, 2021, after exceeding expectations during the pre-booking phase. In just two days, the business had sold 1100 crores worth of electric scooters.
Ola’s Revenue Model and Business Model
Ola’s business plan is straightforward. It serves as a middleman for cab booking services. Customers can use the app to book taxis. None of the cabs are owned by Ola. Only drivers with valid permits that have been allowed and validated by transportation authorities are eligible to join Ola; they may be self-employed or hired by a company that owns many cars.
When drivers register with Ola, they receive access to a driver-specific mobile app on their smartphone, similar to how we use the Ola app as customers. This is only done after a comprehensive examination of the validity and due diligence of both the driver’s and the operator’s commercial and personal papers. The drivers have the freedom to choose when they want to enter into the Ola app and accept ride requests from passengers. They can choose to stay logged out of the system if it is more convenient for them. On average, Ola charges a 15 percent commission on all bookings made through the app.
The following elements are taken into account by Ola when calculating the final bill for the user:
- The base fare is charged in full.
- Distance Fare – Fees are calculated based on the number of kilometers traveled (different for different cities).
- Ride Time Fare – This fare is based on the amount of time it takes to travel.
- Peak Pricing – A direct proportion based on cab demand.
- 5.6 percent service tax
- 0.2 percent Swachh Bharat Tax
- Toll Collection – If you come across any toll junctions along the way, you will be charged a toll.
Ola – Investors & Funding / Valuation
Ola has raised a total of $4.3 billion in 26 rounds of investment. Debt financing and the secondary market are also included. When the pandemic hit strong and the statewide lockdown was declared in October 2019, Ola’s valuation reached $6.2 billion. As a ride-sharing firm, Ola experienced inconceivable losses. After India’s large-scale lockdown was announced in late March 2020, the company’s revenues dropped by over 95%. Vanguard cut down the value of its holding, bringing revenue down to $3.3 billion. According to the reports, Vanguard Group and T Rowe Price will reduce their revenue in 2019-20.
As of July 2021, Ola has a market capitalization of over $5 billion. The most recent money came from a Pre-IPO round on July 9, 2021.