Tired of Uber? A new alternative is rolling out in Australia

Ola, a huge ride-hailer out of India, launched on Monday in Sydney -- and it's offering half-priced rides.

Daniel Van Boom Senior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
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Uber's competition in Sydney just got tougher.

Ola, a ride-hailer originally out of India, launched in Sydney Monday following its introduction in Perth last month.

Ola is coming in hot, offering customers their first three rides for free -- up to a value of AU$25. Even better, each ride thereafter during the launch period will be 50 percent off. How long said launch period will last wasn't indicated, though Taxify's half-price period, for example, lasted one month.

The company announced more promotions would be coming to Sydney in the coming weeks, but didn't say when and if Ola would hit other Australian states, aside from Perth.

Uber enjoyed several years with thin ride-hailing competition since its legalisation in 2015, but now competes with Taxify, which launched last December. New kid on the block Ola arrives around a year after Uber's reputation began taking hit after hit, with reported culture problems, including sexism and harassment, throughout the company. The problems became public enough for co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick to resign last June.

Though you may not have heard of it, Ola is no pushover. In India, it serves roughly 125 million customers and has a crew of a million drivers, according to the company. Over 7,000 drivers signed up for the service in Perth since its mid-February launch, the company said.

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