After foraying into Australia and UK, homegrown cab aggregator Ola has announced its plans to enter New Zealand in the cities of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
Founded in 2011, Ola currently has a userbase of over 125 million users in India, Australia and the UK.
“We see a real opportunity in New Zealand to provide a fair alternative in the rideshare space for both customers and drivers. We invested in understanding the New Zealand customer and devised the right strategy to meet their transport needs,” Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO at Ola said in a statement announcing the NZ foray.
To build its presence in its newest market, Ola has appointed Brian Dewil as Country Manager for New Zealand. As per a statement from Ola, Brian is a proven business leader with over 15 years’ of experience working in the technology and start-up industry.
He previously founded UrbanSherpa, a firm that disrupted the local courier market and, before his newly appointed role at Ola, he was the Co-Founder and Director of Horizon Robotics, where he implemented robotic technologies to reimagine the way physical goods are transported and delivered.
“Kiwis have had too little choice when it comes to rideshare. Ola’s arrival will create a compelling experience that puts the quality of rides first. I’m excited to build the local team and business in New Zealand and provide a healthy contribution to the nation’s local mobility infrastructure,” says Brian Dewil, Country Manager NZ at Ola.
Starting Tuesday, Ola is inviting private vehicle owners to learn more about driving and registering with Ola. It will also be introducing a market low introductory commission rate of 9 per cent for its driver partners in New Zealand.
Ola’s launch into New Zealand follows its successful launch in Australia in February 2018 and the UK in August 2018. Today, Ola operates in seven major cities across Australia and has close to 50,000 registered drivers who have completed millions of rides.
This announcement from Ola comes as Economic Times reports that Ola has raised $50 million from two Chinese investors - Sailing Capital and China Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund. This fundraising round takes Ola’s valuation to $3.7-4.3 billion. With this funding, both investors now hold roughly 1.17% in Ola’s parent ANI Technologies.
According to documents filed with the registrar of companies and accessed by Paper.vc, both the Chinese investors have made the investment through their entities in British Virgin Islands.
ET also reports that Flipkart co-founder and former CEO Sachin Bansal is looking to pick up a stake in Ola through secondary transactions.