India: Ola acquires public transport ticketing app Ridlr

Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and co-founder of Ola, an app-based cab service provider, poses in front of an Ola cab in Mumbai March 3, 2015. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

India’s leading ride-hailing company Ola on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Mumbai-based Ridlr, an end-to-end public transport ticketing and commuting app, for an undisclosed amount.

The news on talks between the two was first reported by The Mint in March.

The acquisition complements Ola’s continued efforts to integrate its mobility platform with public transportation infrastructure that will help users serve their mobility needs, Ola said in a statement.

It would further give Ola an edge over rival Uber, which is considering a public offering in 2019. Uber and Ola are both backed by a common investor, Japan’s SoftBank Corp.

Established in 2012, Ridlr enables users to search and book public transport options on their mobile phones, and also provides real-time traffic information. It raised about $6 million in July 2016 from Times Internet, Matrix Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures.

Combining Ridlr’s innovations in mass transit with Ola’s mobility products will enable true multi-modal mobility solutions for users at scale. With this acquisition, Ola will bring new technology and mobility options as it works to expand into and partner with cities in India and abroad, it added.

“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. The challenge really is to make the entire ecosystem inclusive and robust for all,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola said.

As part of the acquisition, Ridlr’s team of 64 employees will join Ola. Ridlr is currently serving commuters in Mumbai and Delhi with partnerships with BEST, Delhi Metro, and Mumbai Metro, along with pilots in several other cities. Brijraj Vaghani, founder of Ridlr, will continue to lead its operations.

Founded in 2011 by Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, Ola allows users across 110+ cities to connect with over 1,000,000 driver-partners across cabs, auto-rickshaws, and taxis.

Since inception, Ola has made four disclosed acquisitions. In December last year, it acquired Foodpanda India from Germany-based Delivery Hero Group, marking its entry into the food delivery space again. In March 2016, it acquired mobile payments company Qarth, which followed the acquisition of Geotagg, a startup focused on intelligent transportation systems, in November 2015. Its first acquisition was that of TaxiForSure in March 2015.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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