Consolidating its position in online and mobile app-based cab aggregator space, domestic Ola (formerly Olacabs) has bought rival TaxiForSure in a cash-and-equity deal worth $200 million (Rs 39 crore). The company is competing against Uber, a global player, which too is vying for a lion’s share in the fast-growing online taxi booking business in India.
The Ola deal is the second-largest acquisition in the Indian internet industry after Flipkart’s over $330-million acquisition of Myntra last year.
Though the regulatory clarity on the role of taxi aggregators is yet to emerge in most of the states, Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber were adding cab drivers and app users at a fast pace in the last several months.
TaxiForSure follows a different model of supply and distribution by working with cab operators compared to Ola’s model of working with driver-entrepreneurs.
With this deal, Ola said it would have over 100,000 vehicles on its platform. TaxiForSure is currently present in 47 cities with over 15,000 vehicles registered on its platform.
The company added that TaxiForSure will operate as an independent company even after the acquisition. However, founders Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan G will move to advisory roles for a certain period, while Arvind Singhal, who is currently the COO, will become CEO. A statement said all 1,700 employees shall continue to work with TaxiForSure.
Investors in TaxiForSure are Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners. With this acquisition, investors in TaxiForSure will roll over their stocks into Ola.