Australia’s ride-sharing market continues to diversify, with Indian Uber competitor Ola announcing its launch into Sydney on Monday, three weeks after debuting its services in Perth.
Ola was founded in 2011 and has a massive offering with over 125 million users, however until this year, that offering had been limited to just India, with the company picking Australia as its first foray into international markets.
The ridesharing startup’s parent company ANI Technologies has raised $US3 billion ($3.7 billion) in funding since launch.
“We are excited to officially start operating on the east coast with the launch in Sydney. We’ve been very pleased with how the service has been received by customers, driver-partners and the community in Perth, and can’t wait to continue building on these experiences and learnings for our launch in Sydney,” Ola vice president and head of international Chandra Nath said in a statement.
The company will be offering three free rides worth up to $25 each to passengers, and bonus rates for drivers for the first 30 days of operation. Drivers have also been invited to sign up to drive in Melbourne, but it is unknown when the company will unveil its offerings there. However, nearly 7000 drivers have signed up to drive for the service since its initial launch in Australia.
With Ola rolling out slowly, Taxify now available in Sydney and Melbourne, and female-only ride-sharing offering Shebah expanding nationally, the competition for once-incumbent Uber has officially heated up.
Other more niche ride-sharing offerings are also starting to gain traction, with corporate carpooling startup Liftango receiving $675,000 in funding last week.