Bengaluru-based ride-hailing company Ola Cabs is planning to invest over $500 million (~Rs 3,750 crores) over the next few years to launch a ‘self-drive’ service to increase its range of transportation solutions, reports Economic Times (ET).
The service, which will compete with existing players like Zoom Car, Drivezy, will be funded with a mix of debt and equity. Ola is expected to deploy around 10,000 vehicles, including luxury sedans and SUVs in some of its major cities in coming months.
“The (self-drive car rental service) will be launched in the coming weeks with a focus on top 5-7 markets,” said a company executive to ET. “Basis market feedback, we will pilot (the service) in various formats such as rentals, subscription and corporate leasing in select cities in the coming weeks,” added another source.
With the self-drive business, Ola plans to build a subscription service for consumers and leasing services for corporate executives through the Ola Corporate offering. This move is also in line with the startup’s broader strategy to expand away from ride-hailing and towards higher-margin businesses.
Recently Ola’s electric vehicles (EV) subsidiary, Ola Electric Mobility, raised Rs 400 crore from Ola’s early backers Tiger Global and Matrix India, among others. This is reportedly the first external investment into Ola’s fledgeling EV business, which has been struggling to take off in India.
The new infusion is predicted to aid Ola in its objective of bringing one million electric vehicles on Indian roads by 2022.
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