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Ola acquires Pune-based GeoSpoc to build next-gen location technology

Ola announced on Tuesday that it has acquired GeoSpoc, a provider of geospatial services, in an effort that will enable its ride-hailing service in developing technology that will make mobility accessible, sustainable, personalized, and convenient across shared and personal vehicles.

Ola logo Colorful digital tablet

Illustration: TechStory × Freepik (Raw Pixel)

Ola announced in a statement that GeoSpoc cofounder Dhruva Rajan and his group of engineers and scientists will join the firm to design solutions. The financials, however, were not revealed. This acquisition follows in the aftermath of Ola Electric securing $200 million in funding backed by Falcon Edge, SoftBank, among others at a $3 billion valuation.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO of Ola took Twitter to announce the acquisition. He wrote, “New Mobility will require better, newer maps and geospatial services. We’re taking the first step to building these by acquiring @GeoSpoc. Look forward to working with @DhruvaRajan and team to build the future of location services!”

GeoSpoc, founded in 2014, focuses on geographic information systems (GIS) and location-based technologies, providing clients with intelligence generated from location-based analytics. It currently operates in India, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Finland. The geo-analytics company servers some of the top companies which include Swiggy, Bajaj Finserv, State Bank of India, TomTom, Starbucks, Munich RE, and Bajaj Allianz. GeoSpoc is also a part of UNICEF’s Innovation Fund Investments in Skills and Connectivity.

This acquisition is completely in line with the company’s New Mobility strategic plan, according to which CEO Bhavish Aggarwal seeks both shared and personal mobility to flourish exponentially across the country through a combination of purpose-built electric vehicles that reduce costs, digital retail driving convenience, and the cloud enabling personalized recommendations.

According to Aggarwal, Ola at present offers multi-modal mobility access to 100 million users via taxis, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers, day hires, and outstation services, although it only contributes for 7 percent of the country’s population. To attract a broader demographic, the company intends to make it more affordable and accessible by leveraging electric vehicles designed for the various shared mobility requirements. Ola further aims to strengthen its electric vehicle portfolio with more scooters, bikes, and cars in the foreseeable future.

These adjustments will likely require investments in next-generation technologies, such as location and geospatial technology, as well as enhancements in satellite imagery conversion into real-time maps, 3D, HD, and vector maps, according to Aggarwal.

He went on to say that as shared and personal mobility become more widespread across the country, maps would need to improve in a variety of ways. For example, accurate and rich maps with “high user context” should be made easily accessible to users beyond the first 100 million, and multi-modal transportation solutions would require geospatial intelligence to make better make improved suggestions to users.

The Bengaluru-based ride-hailing platform, which directly competes with US-based tech giant Uber, has secured more than $4 billion so far from renowned investors such as SoftBank Group, Steadview Capital, Sailing Capital, Tencent, Eternal, China Eurasian Economic Cooperation Fund, among others.

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