Ola, Uber’s largest Indian rival, announced Tuesday that it will launch in Australia in early 2018, marking the first country outside India that the ride-hailing service will operate in.
Uber currently operates in more than 20 cities across Australia and is the dominant ride-hailing service in the country.
Ola, which was started in 2011, claims a network of more than 1 million drivers and 125 million customers across 110 Indian cities.
“We are very excited about launching Ola in Australia and see immense potential for the ride-sharing ecosystem which embraces new technology and innovation,” said Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola’s CEO and cofounder, in a press statement. “With a strong focus on driver-partners and the community at large, we aim to create a high-quality and affordable travel experience for citizens and look forward to contributing to a healthy mobility ecosystem in Australia.”
Ola said it has already started recruiting drivers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, and is working on getting regulatory approvals from Australian authorities.
Ola won’t be Uber’s only competitor in Australia. In November, European ride-hailing service Taxify launched in Sydney, and later expanded to Melbourne.