Google acquires location-based analytics startup Urban Engines

By : |September 16, 2016 0

Google has acquired Urban Engines, a startup that provides location-based analytics around urban planning. The financial details of the transaction haven’t been disclosed, but the startup will now be joining the Google Maps team at Mountain View to “help organizations better understand how the world moves.”

Urban Engines was founded in 2014 by Shiva Shivakumar, Balaji Prabhakar, Giao Nguyen and Deepak Merugu with the mission to combine big data and spatial analytics to improve urban mobility and help companies, and individuals make better decisions about transportation.

After two years of examining “billions of trips” and “improving the lives of millions of commuters”, Urban Engine says it’s time to prepare the next phase of its journey and that involves being a part of the Google machine. Its platform will likely be helpful in Google Maps especially when dealing with transit, perhaps also for those who may license the product’s offering privately.

Urban Engines’ technology is using the enormous amounts of data collected from Internet of ‘moving’ things — data points produced by transit systems, delivery vehicles, on-demand fleets, and others — to improve transportation offerings in surrounding areas.

The company has so far worked for customers in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, including partnering with mayoral offices and ministries within “smart cities” to better understand the mobility of their constituents to better plan improvements.

In 2014, Urban Engines raised an undisclosed amount of funding from notable investors including Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, GV, Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and Ram Shriram, Google’s first investor.

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