Indian ride-sharing service Ola is beginning its entry into London as it prepares to compete with a growing number of competitors, most notably Uber.
The firm, which is based in Bangalore, has been granted a licence to operate in the capital and is recruiting drivers ahead of a planned launch late this summer.
Ola already has 10,000 drivers across 21 UK boroughs cities outside of London, including Reading, Bristol, Manchester and Liverpool. It said it will allow black cabs to use the service.
Backed by Japanese multinational conglomerate SoftBank, it was last valued at $5.3bn in March.
It is also backed by investors including Hyundai and Kia Motors, and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Ola to London in the time ahead,” said an Ola spokesperson.
“We are looking forward to building world-class mobility offerings for London, by collaborating with drivers, riders, the Government and local authorities.
“Londoners will hear more from us closer to our launch in the city, as we get ready to serve them.”
Transport for London’s licence will allow Ola to operate for 15 months before it has to seek a renewal, which will be due in October 2020.
This latest licence further heats up competition for Uber, which has had difficulty operating in the city in previous years.