Following its recent expansion to Australia, Indian ride-hailing firm Ola said it plans to launch services in the United Kingdom this year.
Ola has obtained licenses to begin operations in South Wales in September, as well as Greater Manchester, and plans to expand nationwide by the end of the year, it said in a statement, Reuters reports.
It looks to offer private vehicles for hire as well as Britain’s famous black cabs on its platform, and will add more transportation options going forward.
“This could put pressure on Uber and cause them to possibly merge in India,” said Shah, adding that Ola could use its international expansion strategy into Uber territories as leverage.
Ola hopes to rival Uber, another technology company which also benefits from Japan’s SoftBank Group as an investor, have been competing in India’s USD12 billion taxi market and in recent months have taken their rivalry overseas.
The company is targeting high-booking markets in search of profitability because in India, less loyal consumers demanding low-cost rides makes competition more intense, said Neil Shah, research director at consultancy Counterpoint Research.
Uber, in March, decided to exit Southeast Asia, allowing it to focus on India.
Ola, founded in 2011, clocks one billion rides each year globally, and has more than one million driver partners in over 110 cities, it said.