Taxi aggregators are readying themselves to take on the global giant Uber, once the regulatory issues are cleared in India. Olacabs, the Indian startup supported by Japan Softbank’s is buying its rival TaxiForSure, signaling consolidation in the nascent taxi app market. Key investors in TaxiForSure include Accel partners and Qualcomm.
The deal, which is estimated to be worth around $200-250 Million, will be second largest deal in the customer internet space after Flipkart $370 Million acquisition of Myntra. It will make Olacabs the leader in taxi aggregator business in India valued at $2 Billion. Ola is likely to pay cash and also offer stock to acquire TaxiForSure. Apart from taking on the $40 billion Uber, the move is also aimed at lowering the cost.
Globally too taxi aggregators are in talks to form an international alliance against Uber, potentially linking up regional players including Olacabs, Singapore Grab Taxi, and San Francisco based Flywheel. Though, none of the Indian Taxi aggregator companies have started making profit yet, TaxiForSure, run by Bangalore based Senrendipity Infolabs, seems to be in urgent need for financial support.
Olacabs, cofounded by IIT Bombay alumnus Bhavish Aggarwal and his college mate Ankit Bhati, received $210 million in funding led by Japanese communications conglomerate Softbank in October. TaxiForSure had snagged $30 Million from Accel and Qualcomm, but Olacabs fundraising demonstrated that momentum had swung its way. IIM Ahmedabad graduates Raghunandan G and Aprameya Radhakrishna found TaxiForSure.