Ola cabs, India’s largest cab hailing service has launched a dedicated mobile app, Ola Money. “Do more with Ola money for a fast, seamless shopping experience”, the app claims, “because shopping online isn’t exactly a fun thing to do.” It identifies Paytm, backed by Alibaba group and FreeCharge, owned by Snapdeal, as competitors.
The Ola Money app permits the user load or recharge his/her device and make payments as desired to other ecommerce sites or even send finances to friends. “The launch of the Ola Money app is a big step towards simplifying payments for users across a wide range of products and services they use everyday,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, who is CEO of Ola, which he founded in January 2011 with fellow Indian Institute of Technology Bombay alumnus Ankit Bhati.
The chase by Uber
This move into the mobile payments domain is significant as the local Cab aggregator is being chased by US based Uber Technologies. Ola claims to possess 80% market share post the purchase of its smaller competitor TaxiForSure in a $200 million deal in March .
Hungry for growth and diversification, last year, Ola Cabs also launched its food delivery app – Ola Café, with the claim “brings the best of food, handpicked especially for you from top rated restaurants nearby. This is in addition to Ola Store, an independent grocery-ordering app, which claims instant delivery or daily needs, and has rivals such as Godrej Nature’s Basket, PepperTap, BigBasket, etc. Aggarwal, who has plans to enter the entire mobile commerce ecosystem states, “We are a mobile-first company and we are focused on building and nurturing the mobile ecosystem of the future, where a billion people are going to be online, through their phones.”