Uber is taking a page out of Ola’s playbook as it pushes to expand business in India, its largest overseas market. Months after its Indian rival introduced its “connected platform” called Ola Play, Uber is set to launch its own infotainment system across several of its cab tiers in the country.
As Ola and Uber started to gain ground in cities, the companies began to actively experiment with exactly how much money they needed to spend like this. Could drivers hit 40 rides in three days, and do it for less money? Uber and Ola both kept tweaking the figures.
Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, co-founders of cab-aggregator Ola, may be the proverbial poster boys of Indian e-commerce, but they are the lowest paid among all unicorn—a business valued at more than a billion dollars—founders in the country.
Ola Fleet Technologies Pvt. Ltd, the cab-leasing arm of taxi aggregator Ola, has posted a loss of Rs 13.3 crore for FY16 compared to a profit of Rs 3.9 crore the previous year, show filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
Start-ups, the playfield of the young and the restless, have had a hard reality check.
The next company that is being greenlighted to enter the prestigious Unicorn club of startups is Oyo Rooms, a SoftBank-backed budget hotel aggregator.
Uber’s desperate attempt to turn India into its next big market isn’t chugging along smoothly.
Rideshare, which allows two or more people going in the same direction to use one cab, might be a good concept, but when did a good concept come in the way of law? It has in the case of cab aggregators Ola and its American rival Uber.
Online food delivery is a tricky space for Indian startups, what with intense competition, wafer-thin margins and a funding drought that shows no signs of a let-up. So it was a bit of a surprise when San Francisco-based Uber, the world’s biggest startup by valuation, announced last week that it will soon launch its global on-demand food delivery app, UberEATS, in India. To roll out the service, it is currently inviting restaurants and delivery partners.
Mid-way through the year, something unexpected happened with Uber – the largest startup in terms of valuation. It gave up in the world’s most populous country. In an apparent move to stop a bloodbath in terms of losses, US-based Uber Technologies Inc, co- founded by Travis Kalanick, agreed to sell its China business to home grown rival Didi Chuxing. That made India, the second biggest market for Uber after the US the focal point. It was the biggest highlight for Uber in India in year 2016.
The biggest change for technology startups came on November 8, when the government announced its decision to ban currency notes of Rs 500 and 1,000. Suddenly technology became a large driver for commerce. While retail sales in pockets dropped up to 50%, sales for e-tailers fell 20%. It was also a year of large cultural shifts – more number of buyers shopped online than ever before, and demonetisation added to the drive.
The startup ecosystem has become a hot topic for all and sundry. They have taken off and matured because of various factors such as availability of funding, consolidation activities by a number of firms, evolving technology space and a burgeoning demand within the domestic market has led to the emergence of startups.
Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. has written down as much as 58.1 billion yen ($555 million) in two of its biggest investments in India, cab-hailing firm Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd) and e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd), the company said.