Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn Ola announced that it had received an operating licence from Transport for London (TfL) earlier this year and will soon launch its operations in London.
Ola has already begun registering licensed drivers in the city. The team added that Ola is already available to over seven million users across 27 boroughs in the UK.
The ride-hailing firm launched its operations in the UK starting with Cardiff in August 2018. Ola has been steadily expanding across the country and is now serving millions of users across Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, Reading, Bristol, Bath, Coventry, and Warwick.
The team stated that over 50,000 licensed drivers can now register on the platform.
Simon Smith, Head of International, Ola, said in a press statement,
“Today, we are inviting the tens of thousands of PHV drivers across London to register themselves on the Ola platform, as we prepare to launch in the city in the coming weeks. We have built a robust mobility platform for London, which is fully compliant with TfL’s high standards. We have had constructive conversations with the authorities, drivers, and local communities in London over the past months, and look forward to contributing towards solving mobility issues in innovative and meaningful ways.”
Ola is currently present in over 250 cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. The press statement shared by the company added, “In Australia and New Zealand, Ola has passed all regulatory audits so far, adhering to safety standards that are similar to those of TfL.”
The ride-hailing startup, valued at $6 billion, has also branched out into the cloud kitchen business, formed an electric vehicle entity, Ola Electric (which also became a unicorn), and, more recently, entered the self-drive segment with Ola Drive.
The startup has raised $3.5 billion to date and counts marquee names like Temasek and Softbank among its investors. It is also known to have received the largest domestic investment made by a single individual (Sachin Bansal). According to sources, Ola is currently in advanced talks to raise about $150-200 million (Rs 1,050-1,400 crore) in funding from tech giant Microsoft.