Controversial taxi alternative buys up deCarta.
Uber is acquiring California-based mapping firm deCarta.
The controversial transport app company will have access to the deCarta DDS Geospatial Platform, which allows app developers to deploy location functionality using simple APIs.
The acquisition represents Uber’s first major acquisition since it was founded in 2009. Its cash pile is high, with the start-up having raised roughly $6 billion in funding and with a valuation of $41.2 billion.
CEO Travis Kalanick had previously commented that the company was not interested in acquisitions but was focused on the product. Generally, Uber’s capital has been built on aggressive expansions to worldwide markets.
The move will ease Uber’s dependence on Google Maps, as the two may be set to become rivals in coming years. Both Google and Uber have invested in driverless cars and Google may be launching its own ride-sharing service.
deCarta will continue under its own name as a wholly-owned subsidiary under Uber. It will lose around ten employees, which represents a quarter of its workforce.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.