And suddenly, its all digital money stuff thats buzzing India’s startup environment right now. Adding fresh heat to that, is India’s very own ride hailing app Ola, announcing yet another Acquisition. The company has acquired Qarth, the Startup behind the Xpay mobile payment system, in a bid to enhance the capabilities of its own, Ola money paymemt system.
Ola money was initially born out of the need to create a payment system for the ease of both drivers and passengers. However, the company discovered a budding business in its payment service and since then, has continued nurturing it as a vertical in its own right.
The acquisition is also important because it allows us a look at Ola’s intentions for the niche, which seem to be quite serious — after all, you don’t really make acquisitions for every other service. The company launched a standalone app for its payments platform last year and is committed to keep adding support for more services.
While Ola’s chief competition Uber — and its ally abroad, Lyft — both have similar infrastructures in place, none of them have taken to expanding in the direction and seem content to keep using it for easing payments at the end of rides.
Speaking on the topic, Anand Subramanian, Senior Director, Marketing Communications at Ola said,
With acquisitions like Qarth, we are investing in building seamless digital payment solutions. As we work towards our mission of building mobility for a billion people, we will continue to build for a best in class payment experience for our users.
While the Xpay app will remain functional for now, Ola is also planning to integrate its Technologies into its own platforms. Indeed, the technology seemed to be the chief factor behind acquiring the company in the first place. Usage wise, Ola Money app is far ahead of Xpay and has somewhere around 10 times the number of users.
The app is a product of the IITs and was incubated there as well. The team of Qarth Co-founders, including Abhinav Srivastava and Prerit Srivastava, will be joining the Ola Money hierarchy. The transactions involved in the deal have been kept confidential as of now.