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Ola heads to Europe, takes on Uber
August 15, 2018, 3:19 pm

India-based ride-hailing company Ola has announced plans to expand to the UK, which will become its first market in Europe.

Ola, which was founded in 2010 and it covers over 110 cities in India, ventured overseas for the first time when it launched in Australia earlier this year. The company, which hopes to challenge industry-leader Uber and other cab-hailing apps, is hoping to use the move into the UK as a springboard for entering Europe. The company has raised around $3 billion from investors that include SoftBank, the Chinese duo Tencent and Didi Chuxing, and DST Global. It was last valued at $7 billion.

Though Ola’s UK service has not gone live still, the company said it will “soon” begin offering licensed taxi and private hire bookings initially in South Wales and Greater Manchester. Ola plans to expand that coverage nationwide before the end of this year. The move into the UK will mean Ola will be taking on the likes of Uber, which has been struggling to get its act rolling in London.

Uber’s gung-ho attitude to business — ‘launch first, apologize later’ — has seen it run into issues with regulators. It is only recently that Uber won a provisional 15-month transport license for London after the city’s transportation regulator, Transport for London (TfL), rejected an earlier application.

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