In a big win for innovation and ideas, Google has acquired a very popular train app, which has more than 10 million or 1 crore downloads.
Why has Google jumped into the train app niche? And what is the reason for this acquisition?
Keep reading to find out more!
Google Acquires Where Is My Train App
Where Is My Train app, which was launched 2 years back, provides live information about trains without using the Internet.
It has already received more than 10 million downloads, and is extremely popular with train passengers. Recently, it was voted as the highest rated travel app in India.
Google has decided to acquire Where Is My Train app for reportedly between $30 to $35 million, which translates to roughly between Rs 210 crore to Rs 280 crore.
Google has made this acquisition under their ‘Next Billion Users’ initiative.
Where Is My Train stated : “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,”
History Behind Where Is My Train
Where Is My Train is owned by Sigmoid Labs, which was founded by 5 employees from TiVo Corporation, a technology entertainment company. As of now, they are a team of 10 employees and based out of Bengaluru.
They have integrated the data of Indian Railways and IRCTC timetables which is available offline, which is their USP.
Using cell-tower information of the user, the app can correctly locate the train on which the user is travelling, and this has made them extremely popular among rail passengers. Besides, users can find out information about their trains just by partially entering the train stations or partial train names.
Competing against Nandan Nilekani-backed RailYatri and iXigo, backed by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and SAIF Partners, Where Is My Train became one of India’s most downloaded travel app recently, by crossing 1 crore download mark.
Why Did Google Acquire Where Is My Train?
The most feasible reason can be a direct integration with Google services, which helps rail passengers in India. This, in turn, will help Google to tap the next Billion users, the mission under which Google has made this acquisition.
The popularity of Where Is My Train inspired both Google and Xiaomi to acquire them, and the talks were on since August.
However, Google emerged as the winner here.
Now, Google has been associated with Railtel, the tech and telecom arm of Indian Railways, since 2015 as they both collectively executed a massive WiFi mission. Google and Railtel have installed WiFi across 400 railways stations, and their services are being used by more than 80 lakh passengers, per day.
Google knows that in order to tap the next Billion Internet users, Railways is a very important platform (no pun intended).
And the acquisition of Where Is My Train app will definitely get them closer to their mission.
We will keep you updated, as we receive more information.