Ola acquires TaxiForSure for $200 Million
In its continued effort to revolutionize India’s personal transportation sector, Ola today announced that it has acquired TaxiForSure, India’s second largest cab aggregator, for $200 million in a cash and equity deal. Ola, which already boasts over 1 lakh vehicles on its platform, has further expanded its presence with TaxiForSure’s operator led model.
TaxiForSure and Ola will continue to operate separately, while TaxiForSure’s leaders and all of its 1700 employees will remain with TaxiForSure. Arvind Singhal, who is currently COO of TaxiForSure, will be elevated to the company’s CEO post. TaxiForSure’s founders, Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G, will serve in an advisory role for a certain period.
This acquisition is expected to increase value on both the supply and demand sides for the two companies. The business models differ, in that TaxiForSure works with cab operators while Ola works with driver-entrepreneurs. In the past, TaxiForSure has kept a strong focus on affordability by adding Tata Nanos to its fleet and offering base fares of Rs 49. The companies have said that nothing will change for customers, drivers and operators on the TaxiForSure platform. The companies added that TaxiForSure’s customers can still book a cab through the app or call centre, and drivers will still have access to customers on TaxiForSure’s technology platform.
Co-founder and CEO of Ola, Bhavish Aggarwal, said, “Ola and TaxiForSure share the same vision of revolutionising urban mobility. TaxiForSure has a great team and they have built a very exciting business in a short time. There’s a lot of complementary value in the strategy TaxiForSure has followed. I’m very excited to welcome the TaxiForSure team onboard and look forward to working with them towards realising our common vision.”
TaxiForSure’s Co-founder and CEO, Raghunandan G, added, “TaxiForSure coming together with Ola will provide us with more opportunity than ever, to do what we do best. Post this acquisition, the combined entity will be strong enough and better capitalized to offer the best value to all our stakeholders, including our customers. This development ensures that industry attractiveness is preserved and the combined entity can race ahead and continue to create unprecedented value for all stakeholders.”
Ola says it has been funded by Tiger Global, Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital, Steadview Capital and more recently, Softbank, over its four rounds of fund-raising. TaxiForSure names Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners as its investors. As a result of this acquisition, TaxiForSure’s investors will roll over their stock into Ola.
Ola, formerly known as Olacabs, was founded in January 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. The mobile application brings customers and drivers together by way of a technology platform, thus providing prompt and transparent service fulfillment to both customers and drivers. Ola’s proprietary mobile application for drivers of commercial transport vehicles allows them to connect with customers who are looking for safe and reliable transportation. Ola’s mobile application is available for Android, iOS and Windows and the company says that customers can book from over 1,00,000 vehicles across 67 cities. In addition to cab services, Ola says its customers can also book autos in Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad along with Kaali-Peeli taxis in Mumbai.
TaxiForSure says it began operations in Bangalore in June 2011 with the intent to make commuting more convenient in India. It’s currently operating in 47 cities in India, with a fleet size of over 15,000 drivers. The company’s technology-based platform allows customers to access existing vehicles. TaxiForSure says that its platform allows customers to enjoy an accessible, safe and affordable commute, along with a seamless booking experience via its mobile app, website and call center. The company’s mobile app is available on Android, Firefox OS, iOS and Windows.