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Uber's Real London Threat Is Ola, Not Bolt, Says Morgan Stanley

Daimler AG-backed Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, just re-entered the UK market two years after its operating license was revoked

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Uber's Real London Threat Is Ola, Not Bolt, Says Morgan Stanley

Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt, has said it will take on Uber in London before the end of the year


Highlights

  1. Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, is backed by Daimler AG
  2. Bolt has raised around $190 million to $280 million in funding so far
  3. Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt, has raised around $3.8 billion

Ola remains the main potential threat to Uber Technologies Inc.'s dominance in the London ride-sharing market, despite this month's return of the rival Bolt service to the UK capital, Morgan Stanley analysts say.

Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt, has said it will take on Uber in London before the end of the year, while Daimler AG-backed Bolt, formerly known as Taxify, just re-entered the UK market two years after its operating license was revoked.

In the two weeks since Bolt resumed London operations, evidence suggests it is not having a material impact on Uber, according to Morgan Stanley analysts led by Brian Nowak. Uber's share of app downloads fell a little after Bolt entered, but has since recovered, they wrote in a report.

The greater threat is likely to come from Ola, the analysts say. If reports are accurate, Bolt has only raised around $190 million to $280 million in funding so far, small fry compared with the $3.8 billion Ola is said to have racked up, according to Morgan Stanley.

"We believe Ola is arguably a greater threat if media reports of Ola's entry into London at the end of the year prove accurate," the analysts said.

Morgan Stanley remains bullish on Uber as the strong growth rates it continues to achieve demonstrate the potential for faster ride bookings and more revenue growth through the course of 2019. It has an overweight rating on the US firm.



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