In one of its most ambitious efforts, Ola has bought Mumbai-based ticketing and commuting app Ridlr that marks the former’s expansion towards public transportation. The Indian taxi-hailing service looks to combine Ridlr’s mass transit solutions with its own transportation products on a large scale, in hopes to keep ahead of its Global-based rival Uber.
With this acquisition, Ola plans to absorb Ridlr’s services and add train, bus and metro bookings on its mobile platform taking a significant stance in the public transportation business in the country. The company hasn’t actually disclosed the terms of the deal but from what reports suggest, it is pegged at close to $25 million, making it the second major acquisition by Ola since its establishment back in 2011.
Ola had earlier acquired food delivery service Foodpanda from German firm Delivery Hero AG for a fee somewhere around $50 million back in December 2017, after having not been a prolific buyer like in case other Indian companies. With the latest deal in place, the cab-hailing company can get one over its rival Uber if it manages to establish a healthy gain in bus and train bookings through Ridlr’s partnership with Mumbai Metro, BEST and Delhi Metro. In case of Ridlr, the Mumbai startup’s founder Brijraj Vaghani will join Ola where he’ll lead his former set of 64 employees.
Founded in 2012, Ridlr mostly operated in Mumbai and Delhi offering information on bus and train routes including prices, also helping users book tickets for public transportation. The company has been successful at raising $7-8 million in capital having Matrix Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Times Internet as its key investors during the course of its run.
Speaking about the deal with Ridlr, CEO of Ola, Bhavish Aggarwal said “Public transportation serves millions of Indians every day, and powering these needs with real-time information, mobile ticketing, cashless payments, and reliable services is bound to impact their end experience. Ridlr, in a short span, has made huge strides in this space, and this latest acquisition lends muscle to our efforts in making transportation a far more holistic service. I am delighted to welcome the Ridlr team on board and join our mission of building mobility for a billion people.”