Uber Is Set To Make Its First Acquisition With A Mapping Tech Startup deCarta
The ride-hailing service Uber is making its first public acquisition with mapping and search startup deCarta.
San Jose-based deCarta provides plenty of services relevant to maps and locations. These services include in-map search, turn-by-turn navigation, location APIs, and more. The taxi company is hopeful that deCarta will vivify passengers’ experience with its services. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
“A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies,” an Uber spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. “With the acquisition of deCarta, we will continue to fine-tune our products and services that rely on maps.”
Undoubtedly, the acquisition will help Uber in boosting the maps and amping up its carpooling services. However, the acquisition is being seen through various critical angles for Uber. As TechCrunch notes, the acquisition seems surprising at the first place considering Uber’s “$40 billion valuation and the billions upon billions that it has raised from investor.”
However, if we dig a bit deeper, it won’t be difficult for us to connect the dots. The deal actually “could have the potential to lessen Uber’s reliance on Google, and Google Maps in particular,” TechCrunch observes.
Though Google is one of the major investors in Uber, the relationship between the two companies is not very placid these days. The tension was obvious in the last month when it was reported that Uber and Google were readying to compete against each other in separate ventures. Uber was reported to be working on a project similar to Google’s idea of self-driving cars, whereas Google, on the other hand, appeared to be the new rival for Uber, to be precise.
Uber, which is now ready to ameliorate its services with the purchase of deCarta, announced six months ago that it had no plans to buy other companies.
“Uber has not acquired a single company,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said onstage at a tech conference last September. “We are focused on the product. We are in 45 countries. We haven’t spent time on M&A (mergers and acquisitions).”
But times seem to have changed. Feel free to add to the story by opining in the comment box below.
Abubaker Zahoor writes on diverse topics with special interest in innovations, tech-ethics, and inter-and intra- organizational business relationships.