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Ride Hailing Ola, Mahindra & Mahindra to Announce Partnership

The app of ride-hailing service Ola, owned by ANI Technologies Pvt., is displayed in Bengaluru, India, on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder of Ola, is in a pitched battle with Uber Technologies Inc. for domination of India's streets. Photographer: Namas Bhojani/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola and the country’s top utility vehicle maker Mahindra and Mahindra are set to announce a joint initiative on Thursday, according to an invitation sent to the media.

The move will come close on the heels of a string of tie-ups between online taxi services and automakers, keen to cash in on the rising demand and popularity of these services.

Mahindra is likely to offer leasing of cars, financing, and auto insurance to Ola as part of the deal, CNBC TV 18 reported on Wednesday.

Ola and global rival Uber have burned through money to capture market share in India, one of the world’s fastest growing taxi markets worth nearly $12 billion. Last year, Uber pledged to invest $1 billion into its operations in India, where its stiffest competition comes from local rival Ola. Shortly after, Uber announced it had received $100 million in funding from Tata Opportunity Fund. Last month, Tata Motors’s parent Tata Group, became the first Indian carmaker to tie-up with Uber.

Meanwhile, Ola has partnered Nissan Motor India to buy and lend cars to its drivers.

Competition between the two ride-hailing firms has heated up as Uber has increased its investment in the country. In March, Uber filed a lawsuit against Ola, accusing the company of creating 90,000 fake Uber accounts and making false bookings to interfere with its business. – Fortune

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