Online cab aggregator Ola announced its entry into the international market, starting with Australia, to take on its American rival Uber.
This will be the second market in which Ola will be going head to head against Uber.
But in India, Ola has long touted its home-field advantage over its aggressive competitor, often attributing its ability to expand geographically and the services it offers to the company’s acute understanding of the nuances of the market. Japan’s SoftBank is an investor in both companies.
Australia will be a very different battle for Ola.
The company, which has yet to give a timeline for when it will launch the service in Australia, says it expects to apply a lot of the same tactics that worked in India, such as a strong collaboration with local governments and a focus on drivers.
Ola’s shift from focusing entirely on winning in India — a huge and complex market with hundreds of languages and cultures — to expanding globally is a big move.
In fact, the company, which recently raised $1.1 billion, has its sights set on launching in other countries, too. The company would not disclose what those markets are.
Founded in 2011, Ola has been competing against Uber in the Indian ride-hailing market.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, the Indian company currently has over 125 million users in India, operating in over 110 cities.
San Francisco-based Uber operates in over 633 cities world wide.