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Uber's biggest rival in India just laid off nearly 1,000 employees

Amid fierce competition from Uber, India’s largest cab hailing service Ola has shut down TaxiForSure, a rival cab aggregator it had acquired last year for $200 million. The shutdown is expected to affect nearly 1,000 employees.

The move comes days after Uber exited China after selling off its operations to rival Didi Chuxing. As part of the deal, Uber also assumed 20 percent stake in Didi Chuxing. The San Francisco-based company is understandably shifting more attention to regions such as India for further growth. It recently added a new feature that lets people book an Uber without installing the app on their phone. 

The Didi-Uber deal has complicated things for Ola, which sees Didi as one of its top investors. Ola acquired TaxiForSure in March last year for $200 million in what was the first acquisition in the country’s taxi aggregation space. Between 700-1000 employees are reported to have been laid off with the vast majority coming from call centres, driver relations and business development units.

In a statement to Mashable India, Ola confirmed the move but did not reveal the number of employees it has let go. 

"The TaxiForSure value proposition as an economy brand for customers, has been seamlessly integrated onto the Ola platform with the launch and rapid adoption of Ola Micro. TaxiForSure has contributed immensely towards Ola Micro’s success within a short span of time," the company said.

Ola had estimated that its "Micro" service, which offers cabs for as low as Rs 6 (8 cents) per kilometre would be as big as Uber's entire operations in India. At the moment, Ola Micro works in 90 Indian cities. 

"With all TaxiForSure driver-partners and customers coming on board the Ola app, the integration is now complete. As part of this integration over the last 18 months, we have achieved immense operational efficiencies, that have resulted in an improved experience for customers and driver-partners alike. In the course of the integration, we have absorbed as many TFS employees for open roles in Ola to support our growth. For positions that cease to exist as a result of this transition, we are offering enhanced severance benefits and outplacement services to help affected employees pursue new career opportunities," it added.

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