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Ola to launch services in Australia to counter Uber

Indian cab aggregator Ola is set to go international with the launch of its operations in Australia in the coming weeks, a move that will further intensify its battle with US-based rival Uber.

The SoftBank-backed firm is now on boarding private hire vehicle owners onto its platform in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, Ola said.

Ola plans to launch its services in Australia in early 2018, it added. It will share further details of the commencement of commercial operations — subject to necessary regulatory approvals — later.

“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation,” Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said.

He added that the company aims to “create a high-quality and affordable travel experience for citizens” with a “strong focus on driver-partners and the community at large”.

Ola’s primary competitor in the Australian market would be US-based Uber. The companies are already locked in an intense battle for leadership in the Indian market.

Uber launched its operations in Australia in 2012 and currently operates in 19 Australian cities including the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

Founded in 2011, Ola has over 125 million users and more than one million driver-partners across 110 cities on its platform in India. On an aggregate basis, the Bengaluru-based company serves as many as a billion rides annually, through its platform.

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