Hyundai invests US$300 million to help India’s Ola battle Uber

The cash from Hyundai subsidiary Kia Motors will be used by India’s Ola to expand its fleet of electric vehicles. (AFP pic)

MUMBAI: Indian taxi-hailing company Ola has secured a US$300-million investment from South Korean car giant Hyundai, the firms said Tuesday, providing a major boost in its fight against US giant Uber.

Ola was launched in 2011 and is engaged in an aggressive battle with Uber in India’s ride-hailing market, which is estimated to be worth around US$10 billion and growing fast.

The new money, from Hyundai’s subsidiary Kia Motors, will largely be used to help Ola increase its electric vehicle fleet, the companies said in a joint statement.

“Our partnership with Ola will certainly accelerate our efforts to transform into a smart mobility solutions provider,” Hyundai executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun said in the statement.

Bangalore-based Ola announced last year that it planned to put a million electric vehicles on India roads by 2021.

Ride-hailing apps are booming in the country despite stiff opposition from traditional taxi firms and some initial concerns about passenger safety.

Ola says it handles around a billion rides a year across India’s major centres, as well as seven cities in Australia.

In 2018, Ola also announced operations in Britain as part of a drive into other markets as competition with Uber intensifies on home turf.