Ride-sharing service Uber has reached an agreement to acquire San Jose-based mapping startup deCarta. The deal, which includes the company’s technology and talent, is expected to close later this week for an undisclosed sum according to a report from Mashable.
As per the deal, Uber will be retaining 30 of deCarta’s 40 existing employees including its CEO and President Kim Fennell. The company will continue to operate under the same name although its technology will be rolled into Uber’s portfolio.
deCarta was founded in 1996 (is it really still a startup after nearly 20 years?) and provides location-based mapping services, local search and turn-by-turn navigation. Current clients include GM’s OnStar service and Samsung’s location-based services. It also powered Google Maps for several years during the mid-2000s.
An Uber spokesperson said a lot of the functionality that makes the Uber app so reliable, affordable and seamless is based on mapping technologies. The acquisition will allow Uber to continue to fine-tune their products and services such as UberPOOL and how they compute ETAs to ultimately make for a better user experience.
Uber currently relies on mapping services from both Apple and Google to bolster its ride-sharing service. Taking the initiative to develop its own mapping platform seems like a solid idea at this stage of the game, especially considering the interest that both tech giants have in the automotive industry.