Uber, the rapidly expanding ride-hailing service from US, has acquired deCarta, a startup with geospatial data tech powering a cloud-based navigation system. The acquisition is a surprise considering Uber’s no-buyout policy until now.
Till date, Uber has relied on Google Maps to power its navigation systems and apps for its drivers and passengers. Uber looks forward to replace all of its operations and services powered by Google with deCarta navigation systems.
Established in 1996, deCarta is based out of San Jose, Calif. Investors include Norwest Venture Partners, Mobius Venture Capital, and Cardinal Venture Capital. The mapping platform features local search, location based features, geocoding and routing. It has, till date, provided mapping assistance to BlackBerry, Samsung, Verizon and Ford.
Google also happens to be a major investor in Uber through Venture Capital. Post this acquisition, Google might have had a dangling relation with Uber, which is pegged as one of the reasons for this buyout. Last month, Uber also said that it has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University for manufacturing self driving cars. This would have amazed the search giant to least since Google itself is a pioneer in manufacturing self driving cars.
Around 30 of the 40 deCarta’s employees will be joining Uber’s team to carry this initiative further and develop an ultra fine navigation and mapping service.
A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable, and seamless is based on mapping technologies. Fine-tuning every one of them could save a lot of time and refine their services which will eventually bolster driver as well as rider experience.
This also happens to be Uber’s first public announcement on any of its acquisitions. Though, it made a number of small acquisitions from time to time, it kept them mostly under the covers.