The BBC reported on Sunday (4 Oct) that London’s transport authority, Transport for London (TfL), has decided not to renew the licence of Indian taxi app Ola over public safety concerns.

India’s Ola started operating in London in Feb this year. TfL said the firm reported a number of failings including more than 1,000 trips made by unlicensed drivers. It also said that Ola did not report the failings even though it knew about them.

“Through our investigations we discovered that flaws in Ola’s operating model have led to the use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles in more than 1,000 passenger trips, which may have put passenger safety at risk,” TfL accused Ola.

Ola said it will appeal the decision and has 21 days to do so. It can operate in the meantime, according to the appeal rules.

GIC and Temasek involved with India’s Ola

Ola is an Indian start-up founded by IIT Mumbai alumni Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in 2011. It provides point-to-point services within the city, hour-based rental services and bookings for outstation travel.

In 2015, GIC participated in Ola’s US$400-million Series E round of financing. The deal was said to value Ola at US$2.4 billion, almost four times its valuation in 2014, which raised US$210 million., a news site that focuses on investments in India commented the deal at the time, “For GIC, too, this marks a new-found love in Indian technology ventures. The sovereign wealth fund of Singapore had last year (2014) invested in India’s top e-commerce venture Flipkart along with DST.”

Three years later in 2018, it was reported that Temasek bought a stake in Ola (‘Singapore’s Temasek buys secondary stake in Ola for $225 million‘). It went in to buy up a large stake in Ola for around US$225 million. A group of early investors of the company decided to cash out and Temasek happily went in to mop up their stake. Not only that, Temasek also wanted to pump in more money into the company by way of subscription of new shares.

An industry executive commented, “Temasek has come in as a white knight in the company both because this will help Bhavish (the founder) ensure there is more bandwidth on the board and also because as a strong sponsor they have the ability to pump in more funds.”

Ola’s losses went up 92%

Meanwhile, it was reported last year that losses had increased for Ola by 92% for its cab-leasing business Ola Fleet Technologies. The losses went up from 845 million rupees (US$11.9 million) in 2018 to 1.62 billion rupees ($23 million) in 2019 (‘Losses mount for Indian taxi aggregator Ola‘, 12 Dec 2019).

Revenue, however, only increased by 59% from 3.70 billion rupees in 2018 to 5.91 billion rupees for the last financial year. The company reportedly owns more than 100,000 vehicles. The biggest chunk in expenses was depreciation, depletion and amortization expenses – 2.9 billion rupees that increased from 1.86 billion rupees.

With the cab services market nearing saturation, Ola has also diversified into a bike taxi service.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

Death penalty is so good as a deterrence that we should have public executions

For many years, Singapore has received numerous criticism for the death penalty that…

林鼎办集会 力数执政党滥用程序罪状

“人民之声”党(Peoples Voice)创办人林鼎,成功于本月26日(星期六)在芳林公园举办主题为“新加坡怎么了?—2019滥用程序议题”的演说集会,获得约1500民众出席。 林鼎在集会上指出,总理李显龙可以对梁实轩穷追猛打,但是他对梁的每一次攻击,就会得到民间双倍的反击,直到双方在法庭对质,真相就会浮上台面。 他相信梁实轩的诉讼有望成为典范案例,足以影响国家政策。 例如美国的民权主义者罗莎帕克斯,因为拒绝巴士司机“黑人应让座白人”的命令而被逮捕。最终最高法院判定公车种族隔离政策违宪,捍卫了黑人的平等权益。 “诚如丘吉尔说过,勇气是人类品德之首。梁实轩捍卫言论自由。在一些事项上,终得要拿出勇气,站稳立场。” 林鼎也再度质问,有上千人,同样也分享了那份有争议的文章,为何只有梁实轩被告?为何总理不是控告原作者或刊载文章的新闻网站Coverage? 林鼎也是梁实轩在诽谤诉讼案中的辩护律师。 林鼎在演说中,也提及我国的一些课题。他说,唯才是举政策(meritocracy)是行动党的政治哲学,她老告诉国人,在新加坡,所有事都是平等的,只要努力表现好就会被提拔。是真的吗? “做不好的应下台” “要做到真正的唯才是举,就要确保没有表现的领袖必须下台。这不是已故建国总理李光耀一再向行动党强调的吗?” 他举例,健保集团网袭病患个资泄露,有任何高层为此负责?过去16个月来,有8名国民服役军人因事故牺牲,有任何将领为此被撤职?人民只看到一系列的调查委员会,但情况仍未改善。…

GE2015 WP candidate Bernard Chen: Categorisation of cases into “the community” and “migrant worker dormitory clusters” divisive

The categorisation of COVID-19 cases between those in the Singapore “community” and…

AHPETC questions NEA on need for "mini-fairs" permit

By Terry Xu The first day of court on the summons issued by…