How It Started

How OLA started (Idea behind OLA Cabs)

Ola Cabs is an Indian ridesharing company that needs no Introduction. OLA starts with “Vehicle for hire” services in DEC 2010. Now it also includes food delivery services, Ola electric. They also provide their services to other countries.

How Ola Started | Successko

By the End of this article, you’ll know:

  • About OLA
  • How OLA Started?
  • Success Story of OLA
  • How the IIT Delhi Graduates built the Unicorn Startup OLA?
  • About the Founders of OLA Company

About OLA

OLA is the first Indian Cab Aggregator Company. They offer a smooth Cab experience to the users. Users can book the Cab easily with the IOS or Android Application “OLA” in few simple steps. It was launched by two IIT Bombay Graduates (Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati).

Instead of buying or renting out its own cars, Ola partners with a huge number of taxi drivers and owners and adds a touch of modern technology to the whole setup. This allows people to book cabs instantly whenever they wanted through Ola’s app. OLA has users across 100 cities of India and employs 15 lakh driver-partners.

Ola was founded in 2010 by two IIT Mumbai Graduates. In 2011 OLA Cabs raised $500K in Angel investment from Kunal Bahl and other Investors, then raised $5 Million from Tiger Global Management in 2012.

In 2015, OLA enters into a Unicorn Club after raising over $900 Million from different investors

Then In 2016, they started a 2-wheeler service in Bangalore and acquired Foodpanda in 2017. Ola also started off a bicycle sharing service called ‘Ola Pedal’ in 2017 to facilitate last-mile connectivity. Then raised $1.1 Billion from Tencent Holdings and Softbank in the Year 2018. After Raising over $250 Million in Series I funding, OLA expanded its services to Australia.

OLA Founders with auto drivers | Successko

In 2020 for the expansion of business to London and enters into OLA electric, OLA raised $250 Million from Softbank

Currently Founders of OLA Cabs are focusing on OLA electric

OLA Cabs current plans

OLA Company Information

Startup NameOla
Founders/OwnersBhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati
FoundedDecember 2010
Revenue2,544 crores INR ( US$360 million) 2019
Total Funding$3.8 billion
Valuation$6.2 billion (October 2019)
Parent CompanyANI technologies Pvt. Ltd.
OLA Company Information

How Ola Started (Idea behind the Starting of OLA Cabs)

Ola has simplified the process of cab booking by its fabulous app interface.

Ola was launched on 3 December 2010. There is an interesting story behind the starting of Ola Cabs. Ola owner Bhavish Aggarwal (OLA CEO) was just like every other success-driven entrepreneur. Bhavish wants to start something on its own, so he started an online site named that offered holiday packages and weekend trips.

Bhavish had to travel from Bangalore to Bandipur regarding their task for which he rented out a car. The cab experience was horrible! The driver stopped the car in the middle and demanded high charges instead of a price to which both the parties agreed. After being refused, the driver proceeded to abandon Bhavish to his destination.

It was really horrendous experience after this Bhavish realized that in India there may probably similar to a lot of customers across the country who were looking for quality cab services. Bhavish saw the very potential of an extraordinary cab booking service, and he changed’s business model to Ola Cabs which is a cab booking business model.

Bhavish onboarded his co-founder Ankit Bhati for taking Ola Cabs forward. In the beginning, Bhavish’s parents disagree with his startup plans. Nevertheless, his parents became supportive once OLA got its first round of angel investment from Snapdeal founder Kunal Bahl, Rehan yar Khan and Anupam Mittal).

OLA Founders | Successko

Bhavish believes that anyone can have a good business idea but to implement it successfully, he/she should have a scalable model to power the business. According to him, the best and safest model one can adopt is running a business while owning “zero” inventory.

OLA Services

Ola has simplified the process of cab booking by its fabulous app interface. From easy payment options to keep the passenger entertained on the go with ‘Ola Play’, Ola takes care of everything to ensure a wonderful ride. Ola now also operates self-drive cars. Ola offers a wide range of cars of every size in budget and convenience. For traveling within the city, one can hire taxis, autos, bikes, Ola share, and even e-rickshaws through Ola.

One can opt for ‘Ola rentals

’ to rent a cab on an hourly basis. It has also launched ‘Ola select’, which is a subscription-based membership program that offers premium benefits to the rider.

‘Ola pedal’, Ola’s bicycle-sharing service is already a big hit in colleges (IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras campuses) with over 500 cycles.

In 2016, Ola also launched ‘Ola corporate’. Employees can book their rides through Ola corporate, the charges will deduct from the company’s Ola corporate prepaid account. It is also easy for companies to track the travel expenses of their employees while ensuring their safety.

Then they introduced Ola money. Ola money credit card, Ola money postpaidOla money mobile wallet are the offerings Ola Money will give. Ola operates all the services with transparency. The commission is given to drivers for every sale made. Ola is known to charge far less than many other cab operators. With the acquisition of FoodPanda in December 2017, Ola also entered into the cloud kitchen segment.

Ola launched India’s first electric vehicle project on 26 May 2017. The project brought together industry experts and the Indian government to pioneer electric vehicles for the public and promote shared mobility in Nagpur. Through its app, Ola is providing 200+ electric vehicles for booking in Nagpur. Ola established a separate entity, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd that also entered into the unicorn club with a $250 million investment from SoftBank in July 2019.


When was OLA Cabs founded?

Ola Cabs was founded on December 3rd, 2010

Who was the founder of Ola Cabs?

Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati are the Founders of OLA Cabs. They both were IIT Mumbai graduates


One thought on “How OLA started (Idea behind OLA Cabs)

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