Ride-hailing app Ola acquires geospatial-tech platform GeoSpoc
Photo Credit: VCCircle

ANI Technologies Ltd, the parent of cab aggregator Ola Cabs, said on Tuesday it has acquired geo-analytics technology platform GeoSpoc for an undisclosed sum. 

The acquisition will help platforms like Ola and Ola Electric to convert satellite imagery into real-time maps as well as 3D, high-definition (HD) and vector maps, Ola founder and chief executive Bhavish Aggarwal said in a blogpost on Tuesday.   

This will help Ola’s platform provide a better understanding of road quality, as well as improvements such as avoiding poorly lit streets at night for safety – even if it is a faster route. 

With the acquisition, GeoSpoc’s investors will be exiting the startup, and its team will be joining Ola. In 2018, Ola acquired Ridlr, owned by Birds Eye Systems Pvt. Ltd, to improve its navigation technology.   

“Multi-modal transportation options will need geospatial intelligence to understand the unique benefits of each option and provide suggestions accordingly. Maps will need to consider a 3D view of the world as aerial mobility models such as drones become more mainstream. (Further) autonomous driving will need HD and 3D maps which will offer superior visualization, dynamic real time updates based on road, traffic and weather conditions,” said Aggarwal, stating the reasons for the acquisition in the blogpost. 

“We have the data and the expertise to build this (better public transportation) utilizing our deep understanding of consumer movements as well as our massive network of two, three and four 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,” added Aggarwal on the future plans with GeoSpoc’s acquisition.  

Ola has made close to eight acquisitions in the past, to build its ecosystem of products ranging from transport, foodtech to fintech, according to data from market research platform Traxcn. 

It’s acquisitions in the past include - car rental aggregator, TaxiForSure; food ordering and delivery platform, Foodpanda, and mobile wallet solution, Zipcash.

Mint recently reported that Ola Cabs has started hiring investment banks and lawyers to work on its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) that could see the ride-hailing company raise between $1.5 billion - $2 billion. It has shortlisted banks including Kotak Mahindra Capital, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley, Mint reported citing sources. 

The company was expected to file its draft papers for the IPO this month, as it gears up for its public debut early next year. 

Last month, investors Temasek Holdings and Warburg Pincus invested $500 million in ANI Technologies. Aggarwal also participated in the round. He currently owns a 7.9% stake in the 11-year-old company, according to Tracxn.

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