Two weeks after homegrown ride-sharing platform Ola announced its international foray with Australia, has made a soft launch in Perth. The service will be available on a limited basis to customers in Perth as the company begins testing its service.
Customers in Perth will be given their first two rides free up to the value of $10 per ride. According to a statement from the company, customers in the West Australian city can download the Ola app from the Android or Apple App Store, register for an Ola account and begin booking their rides.
During this soft launch phase, Ola is banking on feedback from customers and driver-partners to understand how it can make its customer experience and service better. It is inviting feedback by leaving a comment in the app after each ride.
â€śOla is offering affordable fares for customers and higher commissions for driver-partners to create a high-quality travel experience for Australia, and is excited to start with the Perth community. Ola will build on these values as it launches across other cities in early 2018,â€ť Ola said in a statement.
Founded in 2011, Ola has over 125 million users in India, through its network of over 1 million driver-partners across 110+ cities. On an aggregate basis, Ola serves as many as a billion rides annually, through its platform.
With its launch in Australia, Ola will compete with rival Uber in one more market apart from India. Uber already has an established business in Australia. Ola might also compete with local players such as GoCatch.
Ola is also reportedly looking at expanding operations to other countries and has already set up teams in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is also looking at entering other countries such as New Zealand and eventually look at countries in Asia and North Africa.
Ola has been competing with Uber aggressively to retain the top position in the Indian cab aggregator market. It has so fair raised over $2.5 billion from Didi Chuxing, SoftBank and other existing investors. Interestingly, SoftBank is also a recent investor in Olaâ€™s biggest rival Uber.