Uber acquires online mapping startup deCarta for its tech and talent
Taxi-hailing app service Uber is acquiring mapping startup deCarta for an undisclosed amount, reports Mashable. The deal, which reportedly closes later this week, is for deCarta's technology and talent. Hitherto, Uber has raised almost $6 billion, but this is its first confirmed acquisition.
Founded in 1996, the startup provides a software platform that focuses on location-based features, including mapping, local search and turn-by-turn navigation. Currently, Uber uses Google Maps data to power its apps for drivers and riders.
"A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies," an Uber spokesperson told Mashable. "With the acquisition of deCarta, we will continue to fine-tune our products and services that rely on maps –- for example UberPOOL, the way we compute ETAs, and others – and make the Uber experience even better for our users."
According to a Business Insider report, the acquisition might also play into the Advanced Technologies Center that Uber's building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that will research and develop mapping and vehicle safety and autonomy technology.
In February, Bloomberg's Brad Stone reported that Google was preparing to offer its own ride-hailing service to work with its self-driving cars, citing sources with knowledge of the plans. Although Google brushed off this report, that too could have fueled Uber's decision to double-down on its mapping efforts.