This is Ola’s move to enter into a high profile and high taxi-price market – its first outside India. The move can help Ola gain mindshare as a global platform for mobility, like Uber. This could also attract investors who weren’t able to or won’t invest in Uber.
Uber and Ola share an investor in Softbank. From Softbank's perspective, it can have two horses in every race. The ridesharing market is a winner-takes-all market; marginal players will quickly be forced out. Ola’s clever move in the UK is to gain the participation of the black cabs. While it is not yet launching in London, this could be next and will help the iconic London ‘cabbies’ fight back against Uber, which has decimated their business over the last few years. By going after Uber's stronghold markets such as UK or Australia, Ola could also be looking to gain leverage and pressurize Uber to merge in India - Aman Madhok