Ola, Uber’s Big Rival In India, Introduces Food Ordering Service

Ola, the SoftBank-backed taxi-hailing service in India, is taking a leaf out of the Uber playbook after it launched a food ordering and delivery service.

Ola Cafe‘ is initially available in selected parts of Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai — as Economic Times reported. Customers can place orders inside the app between midday and 11pm and their food will arrive within 20 minutes, according to the company.

Rival Uber began testing its ‘Uber Fresh’ service for lunches in the U.S. back in August of last year. It hasn’t expanded the service to India at this point, which is its largest overseas market, although this new Ola offering might have Uber exploring its own possibilities.

Ordering Ola Cafe works much as you’d expect — and much like Uber Fresh. It’s just another option inside the Ola app, assuming that a user is running the latest version for iOS or Android.

Ola, which is India’s largest taxi hailing service with over 100,000 vehicles across 67 cities, isn’t saying any more than the facts at this point. But the app is likely aimed at increasing engagement with regular customers, and also appealing to new users with this differentiated service.

The company just closed the $200 million acquisition of smaller rival TaxiForSure, and is reportedly looking to raise more money, so we can likely expect more experimental services to come.