Didi Kuaidi, a leading mobile transportation services company in China and a key competitor to Uber in all the markets it operates, has infused an undisclosed sum into Ola, the largest home-grown taxi-booking app in India.
This funding extends the perimeters of Didi’s global partnership from Southeast Asia and North America to India.
Earlier this year, Didi invested in GrabTaxi, Southeast Asia’s leading transportation app. This is in addition to its strategic investment and business partnership with US-based ride-sharing app Lyft.
The latest infusion will help Mumbai-based Ola to continue its expansion in India, which recently announced plans to invest US$75 million in its new car leasing programme. This is in addition to an allocation of US$50 million for its soon-to-be launched shuttle service.
Didi’s financing is part of Ola’s over US$500 million fresh round, expected to be closed shortly.
Recently, Ola received US$225 million from investors such as Falcon Edge Capital, Tiger Global and SoftBank towards this.
SoftBank is also an investor in Didi, which recently rebranded as Didi Chuxing.
The Chinese firm said in a statement that it believes both India and China are rapidly developing countries with enormous market potentials. Didi looks to engage local industry champions like Ola to share technology and best practices in product development and operational expertise.
Co-founded in 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhatia, Ola runs an Internet-based platform that provides passengers access to taxis, leased cars and motorised rickshaws from PCs and smartphone apps.
A dominant player with 80 per cent share in India’s taxi-hailing business, Ola claims to be processing over 750,000 rides per day through a network of 320,000 cars across more than 100 cities. Its platform supports multiple languages, including English and Hindi.
Ola is mainly competing with Uber, which recently forayed into carpooling services.
Didi operates a comprehensive transportation service for over 200 million Chinese users, ranging from private car-hailing, chauffeur service, Hitch (social ride-sharing service), and bus- and taxi-hailing. The firm has operations in 360 cities in the country and processes approximately three million private car orders and three million taxi rides daily.
With seven million completed orders daily, Didi claims to have 99 per cent market share in the Chinese taxi-hailing space and 82 per cent in the private car-hailing industry.