Everything about entrepreneurship, the good, bad and the ugly of it, fascinates me. I take a keen interest on startups and venture capital firms and have written extensively on fundraises, M&As and business strategies. I can safely say changing tracks from engineering to journalism has been one of my best decisions. When not working, I indulge in almost every Indian's poison, cricket, playing or watching. I am a foodie and video game buff.
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder, Ola
Image: Manoj Patil for Forbes India
Ride hailing service Ola has acquired Ridlr, a Mumbai-headquartered public transportation and traffic tracking app, for an undisclosed amount, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. The acquisition will help Ola improve its navigation technology, given that it recently expanded beyond ride hailing to test the waters in food delivery with the acquisition of Foodpanda India.
Ridlr, which currently operates in Delhi and Mumbai, offers information on bus and train routes, apart from allowing users to book tickets for public transportation services. This apart, it also tracks traffic real time.
Ridlr was founded in 2012 by Brijraj Vaghani and Ravi Khemani. The company last raised $6 million in equity and debt in 2016 from Matrix Partners, Times Internet, Qualcomm Ventures and InnoVen Capital. Matrix Partners and Qualcomm had earlier invested undisclosed amounts in the company in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Ridlr had raised another ₹2 crore from the Indian Angel Network in 2012.
Incidentally, Matrix Partners is also an investor in Ola.
“Public transportation serves millions of Indians every day, and powering these needs with real-time information, mobile ticketing, cashless payments, and reliable services is bound to impact their end experience. The challenge really is to make the entire ecosystem inclusive and robust for all. Ridlr, in a short span has made huge strides in this space,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and chief executive at Ola, in a statement.
Ridlr’s 64 employees will join Ola, with Vaghani continuing to lead Ridlr’s business.
“The digital technology-driven services of Ridlr and Ola are a perfect synergistic fit. We have been offering end-to-end mass transit solutions to Indians, making their daily commute seamless across different public transportation modes. Ola, on the other hand, has made deep in-roads in the realm of urban mobility through its smart ridesharing solutions,” Vaghani said in a statement.
Ola, which has raised about $2.5 billion from the likes of SoftBank, Tencent and Tiger Global Management among others, hasn’t been an aggressive buyer, unlike some of the other unicorn startups such as Flipkart and Snapdeal. Apart from Ridlr, Ola bought ride hailing startup TaxiForSure, mobile payment firm Qarth, trip planning app Geotagg and Foodpanda India, to reenter food delivery.