Ola, headquartered in Bangalore, has received an operating license for the city, the London Transport Authority said Thursday. It now recruits drivers before the start in late summer or early fall.
The move to the British capital is a great opportunity for Ola.
London is one of five major cities that together with Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Uber ( UBER ) make up a quarter of São Paulo's bookings.
Competition in the city is intensifying. Bolt, who used to be called Taxify, returned to London last month. Kapten, a French startup that was supported by BMW ( BMWYY ) and Daimler ( DDAIF ) was also generating enthusiasm.
Yet, Ola, a powerhouse in India that is also expanding in Australia, New Zealand, and other British cities, poses the greatest threat.
The company, which already has 1
0,000 drivers in British cities such as Liverpool, Reading and Bristol, are ready to compete in the cost.
While tariffs will be similar to those of Uber in the long run, Ola plans to offer discounts when it comes to the London market. It will also allow drivers to cut their rides more often, which could help with recruiting.
The arrival of companies like Ola could put pressure on Uber in the near future, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note last month. But the company has also become more sophisticated in its defense against competitors, they said.
Uber's run in London was not easy.
The city shocked Uber in 2017 when she refused to renew her license company was not "fit and tidy." Uber appealed the decision and later received permission to work for 15 months.
Shorter licenses for months, not years, have since become the norm for moving companies. The license from Ola also runs for 15 months.