Ola Acquires TaxiForSure to Rival Uber in India

taxiforsureTaxi-hailing service Ola has bought its closest rival, TaxiForSure, for Rs 1,238 crore (£129.6m) in an effort to secure a larger share of Indias fast-growing digital taxi market, where it competes with a number of local players as well as Uber.

The two companies will continue to operate as separate entities, with investors in TaxiForSure rolling their stock over into Ola, which is backed by Japans SoftBank. Current TaxiForSure chief executive Raghunandan G will step down, with current COO Arvind Singhal becoming the firms CEO. All 1,700 employees will retain their jobs.

The deal will place Olas valuation at over £1.3bn and make it the largest player in Indias taxi-hailing market. It is the second largest deal in Indias consumer internet space, after Flipkarts acquisition of Myntra last year for £240m.

Ola currently operates in 67 cities, and is aiming to be present in over 200 by the end of this year. TaxiForSure has a slightly smaller market, with 47 cities, but has over 15,000 vehicles registered to its platform, adding an impressive fleet to Olas existing number of drivers.

While Uber has worked hard at breaking into the Indian market, it was banned in Delhi at the end of last year after one of its drivers was accused of the rape of a passenger. The company has since reviewed its driver approval process and implemented a number of passenger safety initiatives, but the brand remains tarnished by the incident.