In July last year, Ola was granted a one-year Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) license from the Transport of London, the government body that oversees the cities’ transportation, to operate its services in the city, according to a disclosure made by the department. The license is valid until 3 October.
“We are working closely with drivers to build a high quality and reliable service for Londoners. Launching in London is a major milestone for us,” “Simon Smith, Head of Ola International said. The company claims it has over 20,000 drivers registered on the platform.
Ola has expanded throughout the United Kingdom since its launch in 2018 and operates across Birmingham, Coventry, and Warwick. To date, Ola has completed over 3 million rides with more than 11,000 drivers on the platform in the UK, it said in a statement.
In September last year, London decided to cancel Uber’s license to operate in the city. Global media reports attribute the government’s stance to their lack of responsibility by using lax background checks of the drivers and by failing to report criminal offenses by its drivers. However, Uber has managed to overcome the legal challenge and got a 15-month probationary license to operate in London.
Ola’s decision to go international is largely led by these markets being higher revenues and lesser cash burn as compared to India. The company also has an inherent cost advantage against its rival Uber on technology – which is run from India as opposed to Uber which is based in San Francisco.