Cab aggregator Ola has decided to shut down TaxiForSure (TFS), a web-based taxi business it had acquired in March 2015 for $200 million.
The move is likely to affect at least 700 employees, including support service and business development staff, said sources.
In response to an e-mail query about the closure, Ola said, “The TFS, as an economy brand for customers, has been seamlessly integrated onto the Ola platform with the launch and rapid adoption of Ola Micro. With all TFS driver-partners and customers coming on board the Ola app, the integration is now complete.”
Ola had acquired TFS to consolidate its position and widen its lead over Uber, the cab aggregator’s chief business rival in India.
The integration of TFS into Ola is going to affect almost 700 employees. While Ola refused to disclose the number of employees being laid off, the cab aggregator said it has absorbed “as many TFS employees for open roles in Ola to support our growth.”
“For positions that cease to exist as a result of this transition, we are offering enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services to help affected employees pursue new career opportunities,” said a company spokesperson.
In March 2015, Ola had bought TaxiForSure to consolidate its position in the country’s cab-hailing market and widen lead over Uber.
Ola is entangled in an intense battle with Uber for leadership in the Indian market that has grown manifold for both the players.
The competition is expected to intensify further in the coming months as Uber expands its focus on the Indian market after selling off its China operations to Didi Chuxing.
Interestingly, Didi is a minority investor in Ola and also shares a common investor in SoftBank. WITH PTI