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Ola and Three Other Regional Players Create a Grand Alliance

... Ashish Bharati

Four of the top regional on-demand cab aggregators are coming together in a Grand alliance to take on Uber. These are, Lyft in the U.S., Didi Kuaidi in China, Ola in India and GrabTaxi in SouthEast Asia have come together in a strategic partnership to work together on technology and services.

The tie-up will allow users to use their  local apps to book cabs when they travel to the other markets in the network.There is however, no plans for these companies to merge. Didi’s spokesperson confirmed “The idea is not to merge and acquire but to find people we can work with.”

The rationale for a cross-platform app strategy is to serve the customers more continuously as they travel between the various markets.

However, the idea of merger at a futre date cannot be completely ruled out, given that fact that all four share common VC backers, most notably SoftBank. In total, these four companies have raised $7 billion in funding. Didi is also an invester in Lyft ($100 million), GrabTaxi (led a $350 million round) and Ola (participation in $500 million round).

Uber, which has already raised $8.21 billion is reportedly raising another $2.1 billion more.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola said in a statement

 “We are excited to partner with Lyft, Didi Kuaidi and GrabTaxi, allowing seamless mobility access across hundreds of cities globally for our combined user base that runs into hundreds of millions,” 

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