Google has yet again piqued its interest in India. The search giant has previously launched exclusive apps such as Google Areo and Google Tez in the country. In collaboration with the Indian government, Google is also rolling-out public Wi-Fi for India’s rail network. And now, the company have acquired one of India’s most popular train tracking app "Where Is My Train."
Developed by a Bengaluru-based startup, Sigmoid Labs, Where Is My Train is the highest rated Indian travel app in the Google Play Store. The app helps commuters track arrivals and departures of trains. It supports eight different languages and reportedly has 10 million registered users.
The app works offline and displays the live running status of trains by using cell tower information to locate trains. In addition, it also has features like destination alarms and a speedometer to track the speed of the train. And that’s no small job, given India has a vast railway network with nearly 14,000 trains operating on a daily basis.
In a statement, Sigmoid Labs said, “We’re excited to share that Sigmoid Labs, the team behind the “Where is my train” app, is joining Google. We can think of no better place to help us achieve our mission, and we’re excited to join Google to help bring technology and information into more people’s hands.”
While no financial details of the deal has been disclosed, reports say that it is in the region of $30-$40 million. Google said that the Where is my Train team would continue to build on the app and more. The company may be aiming to increase its presence in remote areas where internet connectivity is still not adequate. There are also possibilities that Google will integrate the app’s functionality in Google Maps. And if it does so, that would be a huge boost for Indian Railway commuters.
Sigmoid Labs was founded by former executives of US technology entertainment company TiVo Corporation in 2013. The startup currently has 10 employees. Earlier, it was reported that Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is planning to acquire the app. The deal never happened and now Google has snapped it up.