In a move which is squarely aimed at strengthening the bus-shuttle service company is planning to pilot, Ola Cabs has reportedly acquired GeoTagg, a trip planning startup which helps you get around with traffic woes by letting you know the real-time data.
While the financials are under the wrap — considering that the deal itself hasn’t been publicly announced as of yet, Ola is planning to invest anywhere in the vicinity of 120 crores to 150 crores for its bus-shuttle service, the pilot of which is already taking place in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
Geotagg, is a mobile application that helps uses keep track of peak hour and general traffic, in near real-time. The startup might see its technology being permanently integrated into Ola’s shuttle service.
Ola had announced the launch of its new shuttle service a couple of months back. The service, as has been inadvertently the case with most of its newer offerings, looks pretty much similar to its Chinese counterpart and strategic investor Didi Chuxing’s offerings in the Chinese mainland. Both companies are trying to battle out Uber from their respective homeground.
The new shuttle service, led by Sundeep Sahni, VP of New Initiatives at Ola, comes at a key time for the company , just when the company raised $400 million Series E round. Ola’s total capital raise now stands at around $680 million following this round. According to Sahni, nearly $50 million will be invested in the new shuttle service.
The service, which is initially available in two cities — Bangalore and Gurgaon, will be launched with 500 shuttles covering 100 routes. More regions can be expected to be added in later this year.
While India still does not have bigger players in the shuttle space, Ola will still face a tough competition from he likes of Gurgaon-based Shuttl, a marketplace for point-to-point bus travel, which handles 15,000 rides a day in Delhi-NCR and Cityflo, which has tied up with some large bus operators in Mumbai, handles about 2,200 rides daily.
Sahni, during the launch in September, had said that this new service is targeted towards commuters who might normally opt for taking their own cars, bikes or auto-rickshaws. The service will cost you less than Rs. 66 where hiring a private taxi through Ola could cost up to Rs. 300.
Using Ola’s app, passengers will be able to track the location of different shuttles, book a seat and even pay for their ride.
Ola, which is currently India’s largest player in this segment, currently covers traditional taxis, autorickshaws and other private vehicles in over 100 cities in India, via its app. The company serves a massive 750,000+ rides each day with 250,000+ vehicles registered on the app and adding some 1,500 per day on average.