Ola has inked a pact with global peers - Didi, Lyft and GrabTaxi - that will allow users of these ridesharing apps to seamlessly travel across India, China, the US and Southeast Asia.
The partnership will enable the companies to jointly compete with US-based Uber that has a presence across 67 countries. "The new alliance will cover nearly all of Southeast Asia, India, China and the US, reaching nearly 50 per cent of the world's population," a joint statement said.
"Joint partner products will start rolling out in the January-March 2016 quarter," it added. In September, US' Lyft and Chinese player Didi Kuaidi had inked a similar partnership. Interestingly, Didi is an investor in Ola, Lyft and GrabTaxi.
The Indian taxi aggregator app has a presence in 102 Indian cities, while Didi's platform provides 7 million rides per day across 360 Chinese cities. Similarly, Lyft in the US sees seven million rides a month across over 190 cities and GrabTaxi sees up to 1.5 million daily bookings across six countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) in Southeast Asia.
"Through the global alliance, these companies will collaborate and leverage each other's technology, local market knowledge and business resources so that international travelers can seamlessly access local on-demand rides by using the same application they use at home," the statement said. "Each company will handle mapping, routing and payments through a secure API in their country of operation," it added.
Though the companies did not elaborate, the partnership may allow users to pay for rides in other countries using the app they use in the home country in the future. "We are excited to partner with Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and GrabTaxi, allowing seamless mobility access across hundreds of cities globally for our combined user base that runs into hundreds of millions," Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said. "This will also allow all four companies to learn from each other's local innovations and successes that can help in the shared mission to build better mobility solutions in the respective markets," he added.
"The partnership with Lyft, GrabTaxi and Ola allows Chinese users unprecedented ease of international travel and will be a win for the diversity and vitality of the global rideshare industry," Cheng Wei, CEO of Didi Kuaidi, said.