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Ola pumps $60 million into international unit to run Australia, UK operations

BusinessToday.In     May 15, 2019

Homegrown ride-hailing platform Ola revealed in its regulatory filings, sourced from Singapore's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, that it pumped in about $60 million in its international operations in the past 15 months. These tranches of funding will equip the cab aggregator to in its rivalry with the American giant, Uber in international markets including Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The capital invested by the Bengaluru-based company in its international units reflects costs of running the local operations, marketing and incentives, as per people in the know.

However, the amount spent on technology, people and call centres, all of which are centred in the country, are not part of the Singaporean regulatory filings.

Investment entity Ola Singapore Pte that controls the company's interest in international markets received $6 million in March from its parent ANI Technologies. The countries that are handled by Ola Singapore are New Zealand, Australia, UK, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the US.

Ola's decision to go international was backed by the potential to earn higher revenues with lesser cash burn in developed markets as compared to India. Uber's incessant troubles in international markets also prompted the Indian company to enter the international market.

In India, Ola has managed to trim its losses by reducing incentives for drivers, increasing prices and introducing subscription and value-added services on the platform. Regulatory filings show that the consolidated revenue for the financial year ended March 2018 was Rs 2,222.6 crore while the losses were Rs 2,842.3 crore for the same period.

At present, Ola offers services in about 20 cities internationally, including nine in Australia, seven in the UK and three in New Zealand. 

Also read: Ola in talks with Audi, Mercedes, BMW for subscription-based self-drive service

Also read: Why Ola's electric leap of faith could be a boon for auto sector


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