Olacabs raises Series B funding to expand its presence in IndiaNews / TechnologyBy Karthick Prabu | November 21, 2013Share This article was originally published on Olacabs, an India-based car rental aggregator has secured Series B funding from Matrix Partners India as well as existing investor, Tiger Global Management.While the exact funding amount is not disclosed, one media source reports the deal to be in the region of $20 million.Olacabs will use these funds to expand its operations to newer markets and to deepen its technology and analytics expertise.The company had earlier raised Series A funding from Tiger Global Management in April 2012.Olacabs doesn't own any cars. Rather, it brings cab owners/drivers into its platform and makes them accessible to consumers through its website and mobile apps.Avnish Bajaj, co-founder and managing director, Matrix India says: "Ola is leveraging technology to revolutionize ground transportation and is aggregating the highly fragmented cab and car rental market - one of the large travel verticals yet to be organized in India."Share this quote Matrix Partners India recently invested in Stayzilla, an India-based accommodation reservation service.Olacabs was founded in January 2011 by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati. The company has more than 6,500 taxis on its platform.Currently, 30% of its bookings come through the mobile app.Q&A with Olacabs below:How are competitors such as TaxiForSure, UBER posing a threat to you?We continue to be the largest aggregator across India and in every city we are present in. While smaller players are replicating the model, the seamless Ola experience that promises high quality, convenience and reliability with technology integrated at every step is still way over the average taxi experience.Also, we are deep into every city we arein and solve problems that are unique to Indian cities.We don't think a template from the west will work here. It takes more than replicating a template to solve ground realities in a country like India. We surely have a stronger edge there.Plan for Olacabs for the next 18-months?We intend to grow deeper into cities where we are already present and continue to be the largest aggregator in each of these cities. Rapid expansion across major cities including tier-2 cities is on the cards.Any new product innovations you are rolling out?The mobile app is seeing a lot of innovation and change making it more user friendly and incorporating some breakthrough features. We continuously innovate on the app and make it a seamless experience for customer, taking it beyond just booking.On the car category front, we introduce newer segments based on the specific needs and demands of the particular city. Every city is a new market and we treat its needs differently while keeping the overall Ola experience intact for the customer.Current team size, and future team size? We are more than 400 people across cities at the moment. We shall not grow linearly with scale. We intend to hire on a need basis. We shall however be looking for great talent in every new city we launch.Number of bookings per day, number of cars in OLA inventory?At the moment, we have more than 6,500 cars in the five cities we are present in with more than 1,800 operators on the platform.We attend to more than 15,000 customer requests on a daily basis and we expect the number of app visits to shoot up five-fold from two million last year to ten million this year. We have already seen traction upward of five million visits on our website.NB: Car image via Shutterstock.