Uber has bought mapping company deCarta, acquiring its tech and its people.
An Uber spokesperson confirmed the acquisition, which will close later this week, to Mashable:
"A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies. 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."
This is definitely the most notable acquisition for Uber, but not the only one. Uber has made several low-profile buys recently, but the company won't name them.
deCarta, "the LBS platform company", is now a part of the on-demand ride company. deCarta offers personalized mapping services, and part of its pitch has always been to differentiate itself from big box mapping like Google or Bing.
"There’s no reason to sacrifice your own business model, brand or control of your content by opting to use generic consumer mapping services like Google or Bing. deCarta’s LBS platform offers comparable LBS technology but can be customized to fit your company’s needs, giving you the freedom to use the technology as you want," says deCarta.
Uber currently relies on Google and Apple maps for navigation, and this appears to be the first big step to weening itself from that dependency. Uber and Google are reportedly moving in on each other's turf, and it makes sense that Uber would want to develop its own mapping technology – considering routes and navigation are pretty important to a ridesharing company.
Image via Uber