New Delhi: Ola has acquired geospatial services provider GeoSpoc to build the next generation of location technology, including real-time, three-dimensional and vector maps.
As part of the Ola-GeoSpoc acquisition deal, CEO Dhruva Rajan and his team of geospatial scientists and engineers will join the ride-hailing startup to develop technologies that “will make mobility universally accessible, sustainable, personalised and convenient”, Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a blogpost on Tuesday.
He did not disclose the size of the acquisition.
According to Aggarwal, accurate and rich maps with high user context should be available to the population beyond the first 100 million users. “Multi-modal transportation options will need geospatial intelligence to understand the unique benefits of each option and provide suggestions accordingly,” he said.
Maps will also have to consider a three-dimensional view of the world as aerial mobility models become more mainstream, he said. Real-time satellite imagery will have to be incorporated to provide better understanding of road quality.
“Autonomous driving will need HD and 3D maps which will offer superior visualization, dynamic real time updates based on road, traffic and weather conditions,” Aggarwal said.
The Ola-GeoSpoc deal comes when the Bengaluru-based startup is looking to launch an initial public offering (IPO) early next year. Ola Electric, the company’s EV arm, recently raised $200 million at a $3-billion valuation, on the back of bumper sales of its scooters.
The company’s pandemic-marred ride-hailing business is also showing signs of revival. In fact, gross merchandise value (GMV) of Ola’s taxi business crossed pre-pandemic levels in August, Aggawal said on September 7. Recovery from the second Covid-19 wave has been three times faster as compared with the first wave of infections last year, he had said.
Ola also recently entered the used car retailing space through ‘Ola Cars’.