Ola, the giant of Indian ride-hailing, withdraws from UK, Australia and NZ in a global retreat

Indian ride-hailing giant Ola is shutting down its operations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, six years after expanding to international markets as it shifts focus to shoring up its domestic business ahead of an initial public offering. An Ola spokesperson told TechCrunch that the SoftBank-backed ride-hailing startup sees “immense opportunity for expansion in India,” where it operates in hundreds of cities and offers a range of transportation options, including two-wheelers. “With this clear focus, we’ve reassessed our priorities and have decided to shut down our overseas ride-hailing business in its current form in the UK, Australia and New Zealand,” the spokesperson added. The startup plans to file for an initial public offering after the public listing of Ola Electric, the leading electric two-wheeler brand in India that spun out of Ola. Ola Electric is looking to raise $662 million from its IPO in India, according to paperwork it filed late last year.

Indian ride-hailing giant Ola is making major changes to its operations as it prepares for an initial public offering. After expanding internationally six years ago, the company is now shifting its focus back to its home base of India.

According to an Ola spokesperson, the company sees “immense opportunity for expansion in India,” where it currently operates in hundreds of cities and offers a diverse range of transportation options, including two-wheelers. As a result, Ola has decided to shut down its ride-hailing business in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Valued at $7.3 billion in 2021, Ola is one of the most prominent startups in India and is backed by major investors such as Temasek, Tiger Global, and Warburg Pincus. The company plans to file for an IPO after the public listing of its electric two-wheeler brand, Ola Electric.

Ola Electric is seeking to raise $662 million in its IPO, according to documents filed last year.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Ola and its main competitor, Uber, have focused on improving their financials rather than expanding their domestic presence. While the two companies have explored merging, they have not been able to reach a deal. Both have stated publicly that they have no interest in partnering with each other.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi commented that the company’s market share in India has been “higher than ever.” He also added, “While (rival) Ola focuses on other areas…we are passionate about the ride-sharing business. We are also continuing to expand into new categories and commit to sustainability. Some of our competitors may be distracted by shiny, new efforts and IPOs, but I am completely focused on our mobility business here in India. We have tremendous potential for growth and our position has never been stronger.”

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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