Cab aggregator Ola has partnered with Google, allowing long distance commuters to discover Ola’s Outstation category cabs on Google Maps. As per the partnership, commuters travelling between cities will now be able to discover Ola Outstation for intercity travel on Google Maps for mobile.
Elaborating on the partnership Vijay Ghadge, VP of Operations at Ola said, “This time around, we are bringing a unique experience for long distance commuters – enabling access to our Outstation category on Google Maps itself. Be it first-timers or frequent business travelers, we are certain that this integration will add value for all use cases. Ola Outstation has gained significant prominence in the past year since its launch. This association takes us a step further in making the category as reliable and convenient as an intra-city commute.”
The partnership will currently enable bookings for intercity travel from 23 cities to over 215 one-way routes in the country. These cities include Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, etc. As per a company statement, the integration will be expanded to a total of 500 routes in the coming weeks.
Once the destination is keyed in on Google Maps, the commuter can navigate to the transit tab and choose Ola as the commute option. After choosing the option, they will be taken directly to the booking screen on the Ola app.
Ola Outstation was launched in June 2016. It is an intercity travel solution offering ‘one-way’ trip fares to over multiple cities. The process for booking an Ola Outstation cab is the same as booking a Micro or Mini for travel within the city. The user needs to select ‘Outstation’ from the category list displayed at the base of the Ola app. On selecting the category and filling in the destination details, the user will have to fill in the date and time when they would like to avail the service. Post that, the user needs to book from the packages and cab category of their choice.
In October last year, Ola integrated its intra-city cab travel options with Google Maps, enabling customers to discover cab options with estimated fares and ETAs. Ola Outstation currently has already enabled one-way trips from 80 cities, the category is expected to grow substantially over the next few months.
In July 2017, US-based investment company Vanguard Group marked up the valuations of Flipkart and Ola. The cab aggregator witnessed a 12% markup in its valuation. Earlier this month, it was reported that Ola is looking to test international waters. As of now, Ola is eyeing expansion in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Ola’s expansion plan comes on the heels of a recent round of funding from Tekne Capital. As per reports, Ola raised about $36 Mn (INR 231 Cr) in a funding round from New York-based hedge fund Tekne Private Ventures. The funding was raised through an issue of preference shares.
Google Maps is one of the most widely used platforms for navigation. With the partnership to allow Ola Outstation cab discovery for intercity travel on Google Maps, Ola will definitely increase the reach of its services.