Mobile app-based taxi service Ola (formerly Ola Cabs) has acquired cab aggregator TaxiForSure for $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,240 crores), the latter announced on Monday. With over 100,000 vehicles on its platform, Ola seeks to strengthen its presence with TaxiForSure's operator led model.
Both companies will operate separately with TaxiForSure's leadership and employees retaining their jobs. Arvind Singhal, TaxiForSure's COO will now be its CEO while founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G will continue in advisory roles.
"Ola and TaxiForSure share the same vision of revolutionising urban mobility. TaxiForSure has a great team and they have built a very exciting business in a short time. There's a lot of complementary value in the strategy TaxiForSure has followed. I'm very excited to welcome the TaxiForSure team onboard and look forward to working with them towards realising our common vision," said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola in a prepared statement.
The benefits to this move are obvious. Ola works with drivers while TaxiForSure works with cab operators allowing for both companies to leverage their complementary strengths.
Raghunandan G, Co-Founder and CEO, TaxiForSure said, "TaxiForSure coming together with Ola will provide us with more opportunity than ever, to do what we do best. Post this acquisition; the combined entity will be strong enough and better capitalized to offer the best value to all our stakeholders, including our customers. This development ensures that industry attractiveness is preserved and the combined entity can race ahead and continue to create unprecedented value for all stakeholders."
In an industry that's subject to intense regulation following the rape of a passenger allegedly by an Uber driver in Delhi, many states around India talked about banning Uber and similar services, an acquisition prior to government clarity on regulations, if any is a bold move.
Nonetheless, for customers, drivers, and cab operators on TaxiForSure, things will remain the same. Customers can continue to book a cab through the app and call centre and drivers will continue to get access to customers on TaxiForSure's platform.