I was on Bloomberg West on March 4, 2015, the day after the acquisition of deCarta by Uber hit the news. Cory Johnson’s opening question (cut off in the video) was “Is this the start of a mapping war?”. It’s a good question and provoked a (hopefully) interesting discussion.
Outside of personal interest (I was employed at deCarta six years ago), the two things that interest me about this deal are that Uber didn’t think that they could differentiate their offering in the way they wanted by using a consumer-oriented map API from Google and that owning the location stack is key to capturing user behavior data. Continue reading Is this the start of a mapping war?
Big news for the day in the geo-world: Uber bought deCarta, the long-time LBS platform company that at times powered the likes of Google, Yahoo!, NIM, TeleNav, TomTom and many more. In their statement, Uber states that they “will continue to fine-tune our products and services that rely on maps — for example UberPOOL, the way we compute ETAs [estimated times of arrival], and others — and make the Uber experience even better for our users.” This is also the first announced acquisition by Uber. Terms were not announced but it is suspected that Uber’s war chest of $5.9B raised remains largely intact.
(Disclaimer: I worked at deCarta six years ago and am a shareholder under non-disclosure. Sorry, no secrets here.) Continue reading Why Uber bought deCarta