India’s Ola expands to Uber's home turf
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

India’s Ola expands to Uber's home turf

Softbank-backed ride-hailing app to compete with Uber in the US

Ola, an Indian ride-hailing startup also backed by Softbank, will be hiring more than 150 engineers to set up its technology in Silicon Valley—home to its arch rival and the now public Uber.

The proposed centre will focus on research into the future of the auto industry, covering everything from electric cars to autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. They’ll be hiring “world-class talent who will collaborate closely with global teams,” majorly in the fields of machine learning and data sciences for this purpose.

After dominating the ride-hailing market in India, this is Ola’s first step into the U.S. It has already expanded to Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. and now operates in 150 cities, with 1.5 million drivers and a billion rides annually.

Founded in 2011, just a year before Careem, by engineers Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola has grown and expanded to international markets, instead of expanding geographically to neighbouring markets like Careem.

Ola is giving stiff competition to Uber in India, just like Careem did. The move signifies Ola is not looking to exit, but is focusing on strengthening itself for the future of the industry. We are curious to see where this leads in the coming years.

Will Ola simply start operating in the US and make it more difficult for Uber to compete, or will it grow stronger to only be bought in a larger deal than Careem once did?