Uber, the popular cab service, has acquired mapping and search startup deCarta for an undisclosed sum.
On Tuesday, March 3, Uber revealed that it had made its first-ever acquisition. deCarta has a geospatial platform that offers routing, mapping, geocoding and local search support.
With deCarta on board, Uber is hoping that the former's turn-by-turn navigation system and location-based functionalities will aid it in improving its services as well as calculating how much time a passenger's Uber cab ride may take them.
"A lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies," revealed an Uber spokesperson. "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."
deCarta was establish in 1996 and is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. The startup's investors comprise Cardinal Venture Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Mobius Venture Capital.
Uber did not divulge the terms of the deal, which is expected to close this week.
However, per reports, out of deCarta's total employee strength of 40, 30 will remain with the start-up post the deal close. These include its CEO and President Kim Fennell. Moreover, even though deCarta will continue its operations as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, it will retain its name.
Even though Uber has been on the circuit for a few years now, raising approximately $5.9 billion from its backers since 2009, it has been slow on the acquisition front.
At a tech conference in September 2014, the company's CEO, Travis Kalanick, revealed that the service had not acquired even one company. Kalanick justified Uber's lack of acquisitions by saying that the company was focusing on its product and global expansion, as indicated by its presence in 45 countries. Uber, however, had not spent time on mergers and acquisitions.
Uber has been aggressive in expanding its presence worldwide. In February, Uber divulged that it was teaming up with Starwood Hotel and Resorts, whereby preferred guest members of the hospitality chain who used Uber's services could earn points for every dollar spent on the cab service.
Uber's last funding round, also in February, saw the company expand its funding by $1 billion.