Indian ride-hailing firm Ola has teamed up with Microsoft to build a connected car platform using the US tech company’s Azure cloud service that will power navigation, maintenance and in-car entertainment on the Indian firm’s Ola Play system. As part of the deal, Ola will be switching its platform from its current cloud provider Amazon Web Services. There are also reports in India that Microsoft is also in talks with ANI Technologies, the start-up behind Ola, over an investment and Ola, has said that it plans to integrate Microsoft’s voice assisted digital assistant Cortana into Ola Play.
If an investment comes through, Microsoft would be the latest notable tech name on Ola’s shareholder register. ANI raised $1.1bn from China’s Tencent and Japan’s Softbank, as well as Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing, last month and is said to be in talks to raise another $1bn.
It’s Ola V Uber in India
The Indian ride-sharing market has become a straight race between Ola and Uber, who each have around 50% of the market. Uber has made India its focus in Asia after it withdrew from China by selling its operations there to Didi Chuxing and has 450,000 registered vehicles in 30 cities compared with Ola’s 800,000 cars in 110 cities.