He said that the new category will be launched for selected users.
The service will initially be available to select customers in Bangalore starting Sunday, Aggarwal said, adding that he will use it “frequently” to share his experience using the service on Twitter.
Aggarwal did not share pricing details for the new service, but in the booking screenshot he shared in his tweet, the fare is cheaper than Mini and other taxis on the platform. However, a source with knowledge of the matter told ET that Prime Plus is likely to cost more than other categories.
Ola currently manages Mini, Auto and Bike, people can book Prime Sedan, Prime SUV and Rentals on their app. The source cited above said the company will not be recruiting new drivers or vehicles for the new service and will be using its existing fleet. Drivers with experience in the Ola market with the highest ratings and other quality indicators will be eligible to use the new service.
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The person cited above said that the Prime Plus service will be separate from the electric vehicle (EV) taxi service, which Ola is the pilot of. ET reported in January a car hailing company plans to launch a taxi service for electric cars, whose pilot project will start in Bangalore with approximately 1,000 taxis. It will be available in the Ola app as a separate category.
Existing investors are undervaluing Ola. On May 11, ET reported that funds managed by a US investment firm Vanguard reduced the cost of Ola by 35% to $4.8 billion, according to US Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.
Since the pandemic, Ola has also closed several verticals, such as food and grocery delivery and used car sales, over the past year to focus on its taxi hailing business.