Ola shuts down TaxiForSure, lays off at least 700 people
Transportation app Ola has decided to shut down the TaxiForSure (TFS) business, about 18 months after acquiring the rival for $200 million. The development is expected to result in slashing at least 700 jobs, which includes employees in support services and business development, according to sources. “The TFS value proposition 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 said in response to an emailed query.
Earlier this year, SoftBank-backed Ola had launched ‘Micro’, its low-cost AC cab service, which has now been expanded to over 90 Indian cities. Ola, which has been working on reducing its cash burn, said Micro accounts for the largest share of first time cab users coming onto any mobility platform. While Ola declined to comment on the number of employees being laid off, it 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,” it added. 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.