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Hailing electric cabs - brief observations on the startup landscape

Notes by Narsi

It was no surprise to me that Ola (and soon, I'm sure, Uber and the rest) got on the EV bandwagon quickly and in fact Ola Electric is claimed to be India's first climate tech unicorn.

I guess it is a natural choice for them, and a nice differentiator too for their selective and aspirational customer segements.

But the entry of startups such as BluSmart makes the whole thing a bit more interesting. Unlike Ola, BluSmart started off as an electric car hailing service, which in some ways appear to position them more as an authentic low carbon car hailing service than Ola Electric which somehow to me appears to live under the shadow of Ola.

But a possibly stronger positioning alone is no good in the transport market. This is a capex and opex heavy game where, over time, the most efficient firm with possibly the deepest pocket wins. Could the BluSmart outsmart the Olas on these dimensions?

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