In a bid to expand its portfolio of transportation solutions, ride-hailing platform Ola is set to launch a ‘self-drive’ service in India and that to as early as the next quarter, sources told Zee Business Online on Thursday. A source confirmed that the company is set to invest around $500 million in the service. This investment could be in the form of debt and equity over the next couple of years. The service has already been tested internally and will soon be launched for public use. As part of the service, Ola will deploy around 10,000 vehicles, including luxury sedans and SUVs, in major cities.
Zee Business Online was told by an Ola spokesperson that the company is piloting the self-drive service is various formats like rentals, subscription and corporate leasing in select cities in the coming weeks and the idea was to provide an opportunity to provide a superior experience to customers.
“Ola is committed to building Mobility as a Service for India’s young and discerning consumers. Basis market feedback, we are piloting our Ola Self-Drive offering in various formats like rentals, subscription and corporate leasing in select cities in the coming weeks. This space is currently underserved and there exists a tremendous opportunity to build a superior experience through an integrated mobility platform like Ola,” the spokesperson said.
Some other cab-hailing startups like Zoomcar and Drivezy are already providing the service in India.
The announcement also comes a week after Hyundai Motor Group and Kia Motors Corporation invested a whopping $300 million in Ola. The company said that the agreement will see Hyundai, Ola and Kia collaborate to develop unique fleet and mobility solutions. The partnership will offer Ola drivers various financial services, including lease and instalment payments, while vehicle maintenance and repair services are expected to enhance customer satisfaction.
Ola aims to create over two million livelihood opportunities in the mobility ecosystem by 2022.
Before this, Ola had raised money through equity capital from the investments by Softbank and Tiger Global. Ola was valued at $6 billion in a funding round in February and has so far raised $3.67 billion. Ola hosts over 1.3 million partners on its platform.