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GMV of Ola has crossed pre-COVID-19 level, says founder Bhavish Aggarwal

Ride-hailing platform Ola on Tuesday said its GMV (gross merchandise value) has crossed pre-COVID-19 levels, and the recovery from the second wave has been three times faster compared to that after the first wave.

Ola Co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal noted that Ola had added 10 million new users in the financial year 2020-21, and the company is working on onboarding more driver-partners, entering new cities, and building new products to better serve mobility needs post-COVID.

“India is moving again! Our @olacabs GMV crossed pre-covid levels last week. Recovery from second wave is 3 times faster. Clearly, India is up and about! Some interesting trends as #IndiaIsMovingDown pointing backhand index," Aggarwal said in a series of tweets.

GMV (gross merchandise value), for Ola, refers to the fare paid by customers for rides.

Like many other industries, the ride-hailing sector was adversely impacted by the pandemic as the ensuing lockdown dried up demand and ravaged business. Companies were forced to lay off employees and cut costs to sustain the business.

Ola too had announced laying off 1,400 staff from rides, financial services and food business in May last year as revenues had declined significantly amid the first wave.

At that time, Aggarwal had said the company was increasing its investments and adding people capabilities in R&D as a group through the crisis to double down on innovation and engineering as the crisis had accelerated macro trends of digital commerce and clean mobility.

In one of the tweets on Tuesday, Aggarwal said 10 million people used Ola for the first time ever in the financial year2020-21.

"...As people move, they want to feel safe so they're switching to personal or shared mobility instead of public transport. Many are moving to Autos taking our Auto business to almost 150 per cent of pre-covid levels," he added.

The executive stated that the cab aggregator is ensuring that rides on the platform are safe.

"...3L+ drivers on Ola are vaccinated and we''ll have 100 per cent vaccinated soon! We're onboarding more driver-partners, entering new cities, and building new products to better serve all your mobility needs post covid. More soon. Let's keep India moving!" he said in another tweet.

Ola is also said to be working towards launching a $1-1.5 billion initial public offering (IPO).

According to sources, the company is expected to file the DRHP (Draft Red Herring Prospectus) in the December quarter and is working with select banks, including Citigroup Inc and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, to manage the IPO.