India's Ola gets green light for London launch

An employee speaks over his phone as he sits at the front desk inside the office of Ola cab service in Gurugram, previously known as Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

BENGALURU (Reuters) - London’s transport regulator has permitted Indian ride-hailing company Ola to launch its service in the city, the company said on Thursday.

The move comes days after Estonia’s Bolt, backed by German automaker Daimler, re-entered the London taxi market dominated by Uber and the city’s ubiquitous “black cab” taxis.

Bengaluru-based Ola, which like Uber counts Japan’s SoftBank Corp as one of its backers, said the company got a private hire vehicle license to operate in UK’s capital city.

“We are looking forward to building world-class mobility offerings for London, by collaborating with drivers, riders, the government and local authorities,” an Ola spokesperson said in a statement.

Financial Times first reported (here) the development earlier in the day and said the company plans to launch the service by September.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips