Ola picks up GeoSpoc to build next-gen location technologies

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Ride hailing major Ola on October 5 announced the acquisition of GeoSpoc, a Pune-based provider of geospatial services.

As part of this deal, GeoSpoc cofounder Dhruva Rajan and his team will join Ola to develop technologies that will make mobility accessible, sustainable, personalised, and convenient across shared and personal vehicles, the company said in a statement. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This acquisition comes close on heels of Ola Electric raising $200-million financing led by Falcon Edge, SoftBank and others, at a valuation of $3 billion.

“New Mobility will see profound changes in the way people move. New vehicle form factors and modes of transport will transform our day-to-day lives. 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,” CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a blogpost.

He said that enhanced geo-spatial services will also go a long way in improving urban planning such as clarity in road networks, better public transport and pre-empting traffic congestions.

“We have the data and the expertise to build this utilising our deep understanding of consumer movements as well as our massive network of 2,3 and 4Ws (wheelers) that provide unprecedented geo-spatial 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,” Aggarwal said in the blogpost.

He had said in September that both shared and personal mobility will grow significantly in India through a combination of purpose built electric vehicles lowering costs, digital retail driving convenience and the cloud enabling personalisation.

“Ola is building this New Mobility ecosystem with the consumer at the core. The three pillars of this new ecosystem are: New Mobility Services, New Energy Vehicles and New Auto Retail. These three pillars amplify and enhance the impact of each other as part of an integrated Ola New Mobility Platform,” he said.

Aggarwal had said Ola provides multi-modal mobility access to 100 million people through taxis, auto rickshaws, two-wheelers, day hires, and outstation rides, however, it accounts for only 7 percent of the country’s population.

In order to expand this to a larger audience, the company aims to make it more affordable and accessible by using electric vehicles customised for the diverse shared mobility needs. The firm plans to expand its range of electric vehicles with more scooters, bikes and cars in the coming quarters, he said.

Ola’s core ride-hailing unit is also planning to list on stock exchanges soon, for which it raised $500 million from Warburg Pincus and Temasek, giving early backers Tiger and Matrix a part exit from the company.