India-based Uber rival Ola is to enter the New Zealand market, following recent debuts in Australia, the UK and China.
Ola, which claims to be one of the largest ride share companies in the world, says it will offer services initially in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
In Australia, Ola claims to operate in seven major cities and to have close to 50,000 registered drivers who have completed millions of rides.
The company was founded in 2011 and claims to have more than 125 million users in India, Australia and the UK and to serve almost one billion rides annually through its platform.
The founder of New Zealand courier company Urban Sherpa, Brian Dewil, has been appointed country manager for New Zealand. His most recent role was as cofounder and director of Horizon Robotics. The company's web site is no longer active but according to its LinkedIn page it is "an Auckland-based technology startup that is using robotic technologies to reimagine the way physical goods are transported and delivered."
Ola has not said when services will start but says it is inviting private vehicle owners to learn more about driving and registering with Ola by visiting drive.olacabs.com saying: "More details about the wider launch of Ola will be announced soon."
Ola claims to benefit drivers by charging the industry’s lowest commissions, resulting in higher driver earnings, and by paying drivers daily rather than weekly.
In April Australian website Lifehackerand concluded: "It's still hard to look past Uber as the best service across the country but with Taxify and Ola offering reduced rates compared to Uber outside of Sydney, if you're travelling via ride-share outside of the country's biggest city, you should look at all of the options."