Uber is used to facing stiff competition overseas, but now some of that competition is coming to Uber’s own turf, reports Bloomberg. The Indian ride-hailing startup Ola is planning to establish a technology center in Silicon Valley, setting up right in Uber’s neighborhood.
Ola was founded in 2011 and operates in 100 cities in India plus an additional 50 cities worldwide. The service has over 1.5 million drivers and serves a billion rides a year. Most recently Ola has expanded to the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
For now, Ola’s move to the U.S. seems to be for research purposes only. The company has announced it will hire more than 150 engineers with a focus on machine learning and data sciences for its new Silicon Valley technology center. Areas of research will include autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. Ola is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, which means they have plenty of money to play with in Uber’s backyard.