Indian ride-hailing firm Ola expands to Australia to take on Uber

  • Indian Uber rival Ola has announced plans to expand into Australia.
  • It's the first move for Ola outside of its home market of India.
  • Ola recently received a $1.1 billion round of funding from Tencent and SoftBank that valued the company at around $7 billion.
Ola's mobile app in action.
Ola
Ola's mobile app in action.

Indian Uber rival Ola announced Tuesday that it plans to expand into Australia, its first move outside of its home country.

Ola has begun signing up drivers in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the company said.

The move comes just months after raising $1.1 billion from investors that included Chinese internet giant Tencent and Japan's SoftBank, which also bought a hefty stake in Uber recently.

Ola is one of India's most valuable start-ups and is worth around $7 billion, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC when the funding round was closed in October.

The company is present in 110 cities across India and is locked in a fierce battle with Uber.

"We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation," Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola, said in a press release.

Still, Ola will need to work hard to make a dent in the Australian market that Uber has been in for a number of years.

Roy Morgan, an Australian market research firm, said in a report released in December that nearly 3.7 million Australians had traveled with Uber in the previous three months.