India: Ola acquires GeoSpoc to develop next-generation location technology

Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal. Photo: Bloomberg

Ola, India’s largest mobility platform, on Tuesday, said it has acquired GeoSpoc, a leading geospatial services provider in India.

Making the announcement on a blog post, Bhavish Aggarwal, co- founder and CEO, Ola said, “Dhruva and his team of Geospatial scientists and engineers will be joining Ola to develop technologies which will make mobility universally accessible, sustainable, personalised, and convenient, across shared and personal vehicles.”

The Ola CEO said, “Enhanced geo-spatial services will also go a long way in improving urban planning including road networks, better public transportation and pre-empt congestion spots.”

Agarwal said Ola has data and expertise to build this utilizing its deep understanding of consumer movements as well as its massive network of 2,3 and 4Ws that provide unprecedented geo-spatial details.

Ola can layer this data with new sources such as satellite imagery and visual feeds from its network on-ground to build ‘Living Maps’, Agarwal further added.

Agarwal said the new modes of transport will transform our day to day lives and these fundamental changes will require investments in next-gen technologies, including location and geospatial technologies, advancements in satellite imagery conversion into real-time maps as well as 3D, HD and vector maps.

The Ola CEO said 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 further added that Maps will not only need to consider a 3-dimensional view of the world as aerial mobility models such as drones become more mainstream but also for incorporating near real-time satellite imagery to 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.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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