Taxi aggregator Ola is all set to get into logistics services. The company has started testing a new delivery service that offers customers the option of having online and offline shopping orders delivered within three hours or less.Tie-ups
Once the service is launched — by mid-July, according to sources — customers can use the Ola app to send documents within the city or even get laundry picked up. The company has tied up with several offline retailers, including florists, bakeries and ice-cream parlours, for the new service.
It is also learnt that the company will use bicycles and motorbikes for delivery, in addition to cabs.
While Ola is yet to brand the delivery service, the model is likely to be based on a similar initiative by San Francisco-based taxi-hailing app Uber, called UberRush.
Uber has partnered with several luxury fashion brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s and Hugo Boss, for the delivery service. It has created a separate app with an intelligent routing system for orders, which will eventually allow drivers to transport both goods and passengers at the same time. UberRush, launched in 2014, acts as a personal courier for customers for a flat fee of $15. It acts as a logistics company, door delivering all sorts of products quickly. Using the app, customers have to communicated where the item is and where it needs to be delivered; a messenger reaches within minutes. UberRush is catering to on-demand deliveries for products such as ice cream, roses, helicopter rides, books and small packages.
The company has been experimenting with several initiatives such as Ola Store and Ola Café to deliver groceries and food, respectively.Fundraising plans
Ola is the largest taxi service provider and has raised $800 million or so in seven rounds, from 16 investors, including SoftBank, Tiger Global, Sequoia and DST Global.
It is also looking to raise a similar figure this year to take on Uber, which is raising $2 billion more to invest in emerging markets, including India and China.