Google is eager to expand its base in India as it is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. As a part of its expansion process, the search engine giant recently acquired Sigmoid Labs-developed popular train app, “Where is my Train.” As of now, the app serves over 10 million registered users. It helps daily commuters to track arrivals as well as departures and also to buy seats. It is certainly not an easy job considering the fact that around 14,000 trains operate in India on daily basis.
Founded by four former executives of TiVo, Sigmoid Labs currently employs 10 staff members. However, the amount of money the startup raised since its inception is not clear.
Google Spokesperson Confirms ‘Train App’ Deal
The popular train app works on Android device and supports even when the mobile devices are in offline mode or has poor connectivity. Incidentally, the app supports service in eight languages and is giving tough competition to VC-backed iXigo and RailYatra. A spokesperson from Google recently confirmed the deal but did not disclose the price.
Media reports suggest that Google acquired the popular train app in around $30 to 40 million. The giant IT company started showing interest in the train app since August this year. However, it faced tough competition from the smartphone maker from China, Xiaomi who also wanted to acquire this particular app.
While confirming the popular train app deal with Google, the founders posted on their official website, “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.”
App To continue Current Operations
According to Google, the popular train app, “Where is my Train” team will continue with their current offering. It indicates that both Google or Sigmoid Labs do not plan to shutter the app anytime soon. Experts predict that most probably after this acquisition Google might think of expanding and developing the scope of the app further to make it available for other areas.
One of the biggest examples of app-diversification is the ride-hailing app that now is moving into different albeit adjacent spheres. The ride-hailing apps now also offer food delivery, payments, and entertainment service and have become an integral part of people’s daily lives.
Right now it is just a guessing as to how Google can take the popular train app further. There is a strong possibility that the American multinational technology company may include Google Maps into this fold.
Google Planning To Increase Presence In Tier 2, 3 And 4 Cities
Reports indicate that the acquisition of train app is just one step from Google towards fulfilling its intention to increase its presence in tier 2, 3, and 4 cities with inadequate internet connectivity. With this app, it will be easier for the regular commuters to use cell tower information for locating trains without using the internet.
Apart from displaying the live running status of trains that travel across the country, the popular train app also offers other features. These include a speedometer that tracks the speed of the train and destination alarms.
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