After Perth, Ola drives into Sydney

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Ola, the home-grown app cab service, has started operations in Sydney, expanding its services in the Australian market.

Tailoring its products for local commuters, Ola will offer the first three rides on its platform free.

Ola was founded in 2011 and has a massive offering with over 125 million users, however until this year, that offering had been limited to just India, with the company picking Australia as its first foray into global markets.

Sydney and Melbourne are two of the most populated cities in the country. Europe's Taxify - which, like Ola, is backed by Chinese taxi app company Didi - moved into Australia via a Sydney launch in November.

The company announced its plans to go Down Under at the end of January and in Sydney, which is its first full launch, Ola said it has signed up over 7,000 registered drivers.

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The company is yet to begin operating in Melbourne.

In the coming weeks, Ola said it will continue to roll out a number of new initiatives for both customers and driver-partners.

Interestingly, Uber, the biggest rival of Ola in India, already has a strong presence in Australia and it now operates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Canberra.

Founded in 2011, Ola has been competing against Uber in the Indian ride-sharing market. It will also offer discounts for subsequent rides.

It now looms as a major threat to United States pioneer Uber in the increasingly crowded app-based ride sharing market after Estonian-based Taxify launched in Sydney last December, as well as GoCatch. "We've been very pleased with how the service has been received by customers, driver-partners and the community in Perth, and can't wait to continue building on these experiences and learnings for our second city launch", Ola vice president, Chandra Nath said, PTI reported.