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Uber Just Bought Mapping Startup deCarta

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
2 min read

Uber is kinda taking over the world. But without quality mapping technology, talk about an emperor with no clothes.

That’s why the ridesharing technology giant just scooped up San Jose, Calif.-based geolocation startup deCarta. (With a valuation of $40 billion, Uber can definitely afford to do some shopping.)  

Related: Uber Raises $1.2 Billion in New Funding Based on a $40 Billion Valuation

In addition to offering digital maps, deCarta specializes in search with local, location-based results and turn-by-turn navigation, including making driving directions cognizant of traffic conditions.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Uber, digital mapping technology is responsible for “a lot of the functionality” that keeps the company running efficiently. “With the acquisition of deCarta, we will continue to fine tune products and services that rely on maps – including UberPOOL and the way we compute ETAs – and make the Uber experience even better for our users,” said Uber in an emailed statement.

Related: Check Your Rearview, Google. Uber Is Getting Into Self-Driving Cars, Too.

Currently, Uber runs with Google Maps technology -- which makes sense, since Google Ventures is an Uber investor.

But Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick might be getting a wee-bit competitive with the formative Silicon Valley search giant. Scooping up the talent and technology that deCarta has could put Uber in a position to rely less on Google -- which may be a wise move since Google and Uber appear to be stepping on each other’s toes. Uber is working on building its own driverless cars, an Everest Google has long been sweating to summit. And a recent exclusive from Bloomberg said that Google is working on its own Uber-ish transportation app.

Related: Lyft CMO: Uber Is the Wal-Mart of Transportation. We Aren't.

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