Cab-hailing giant Ola is scooping up GeoSpoc, a Pune-based startup that provides geospatial services, to level up its new mobility initiatives. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
“New mobility will see profound changes in the way people move. These fundamental changes will require investments in next-gen technologies, including location and geospatial technologies, and advancements in satellite imagery conversion into real-time maps as well as 3D, HD, and vector maps,” Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ola, said in a blog post on Tuesday. “Today, we are taking the first step towards this by acquiring GeoSpoc, India’s leading provider of geospatial services.”
New mobility is a concept that signifies technology-enabled transportation such as electric mobility or zero-emission vehicles, semi or fully autonomous vehicles, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, shared-use mobility, and e-hailing, among other things.
GeoSpoc was founded in 2015 by Dhruva Raja to deliver niche location-based solutions across verticals like BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance), retail, precision agriculture, and consumer goods. The six-year-old startup doesn’t seem to have raised any external money yet. Post the acquisition, Raja and his team of geospatial scientists and engineers will join Ola to build the next generation of location technology that will make shared and personal vehicles “accessible, sustainable and personalized.”
“Enhanced geospatial services will also go a long way in improving urban planning, including road networks, better public transportation, and pre-empt congestion spots,” said Aggarwal. “We have the data and the expertise to build this utilizing our deep understanding of consumer movements as well as our massive network of two, three, and four-wheelers that provide unprecedented geospatial details.”
“We can layer this data with new sources such as satellite imagery and visual feeds from our network on-ground to build ‘living maps’ that embody the changing landscape of our world,” he added.
The development comes days after Ola said its electric mobility business Ola Electric has raised a USD 200 million funding round led by Falcon Edge and SoftBank to accelerate the development of electric scooters and motorbikes as well as electric cars. The deal valued the electric vehicle firm at USD 3 billion. As such, Ola Electric seems to be driving the growth of the SoftBank-backed mobility giant ahead of its plans to go public in early 2022. The Bengaluru-headquartered company is reportedly aiming to raise at least USD 1.5–2 billion by listing its shares on bourses at a valuation of USD 12–14 billion.