Saturday, 24th February, 2018

Targeting auto commuters, Google buys Bangalore based startup for $25 billion

21, Feb 2014 By bg

Mountain View, CA. It looks like it’s raining acquisitions this season. After the Facebook acquired messaging app maker WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars, software giant Google has announced its intention to acquire MeterUp, a relatively unknown company based out of Bangalore, India, for an undisclosed amount.

While there are speculations about the actual sum ranging from 19 billion dollars to 25 billion dollars, the founder of MeterUp, Mr. Dinesh Kotha has been tight-lipped about the deal. Analysts point out that this move is aimed at shoring up the fledgling usage of Google+. While MeterUp is already integrated with Google Maps, Google intends to integrate it tightly with Google+.

MeterUp India Pvt. Ltd creates Apps exclusively for Android platform, and their most popular app, with the same name as the name of the company, aims to make life easier for anyone commuting in a cab or an auto rickshaw.

It does away with the need to haggle, and search for a cheap cab. MeterUp! is an app that generates auto and cab fares for commuting around a city. The auto-rickshaw drivers in Indian cities are notorious for fleecing the hapless commuters and many feel that dealing with government officials much easier than dealing and negotiating with auto drivers.

Google aims to capture this huge market of Indians harassed by auto drivers and make them login into Google+ before they can use MeterUp.

Google's traget
Google’s traget

As it happens with all big businesses in India, this deal has run into political rough weather already. The scion of the ruling party, Mr. Rahul Gandhi, claims that this app is possible because of the progress that is made by the ruling government in the last 10 years.

“Imagine if there was no progress, people would still be using the analog phones and where would people run this app? “ he questioned. His main rival from the opposition party, Narendra Modi said that this proves the need for good infrastructure in the cities.

“If there was no infrastructure, what’s the use of this app if you are riding your auto on pot-hole ridden roads through the traffic jams?” He invited the Google executives to visit Gujarat to witness the world-class infrastructure where riding on autos is a pleasure.

Meanwhile, the founder of an upcoming party, who claims to represent all the honest people in India, is miffed that this affects his core constituency of the auto rickshaw drivers.

“This again proves that the government and opposition are the same and are being funded by Mr. Dinesh Kotha. Their aim is to target the income of the aam auto drivers” he said before getting into an auto while wearing two mufflers.