Google has acquired Where Is My Train, a multilingual app that provides live updates on trains. The search giant has not disclosed the acquisition details.
In late August, Google was reportedly in talks to acquire the company for $30-40 million. Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi was also in the fray to invest in the Bengaluru-based startup.
This is Google’s second acquisition on Indian turf. Last year, the firm had acquired another Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs.
Where Is My Train will leverage Google’s ‘Next Billion Users’ initiative. It essentially offers offline integration of Indian Railways and IRCTC timetables, using cell-tower information to locate trains.
Available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, Where Is My Train app also enables users to understand coach position in platforms and browse through seat/berth layouts.
Where Is My Train was also nominated in Play Store’s Best Apps of 2018 for India.
Unlike other utility categories, train category offers immense headroom for growth. For an instance, Where Is My Train had about 5 million downloads while Ixigo amassed about 3 million installs in November 2018.
As per Sensortower data, other aforementioned players have under 500K downloads during last month.
Where Is My Train had witnessed spurt in growth on the back of offline train location feature that later copied by every other player in the segment.
While driving download in train category is not as challenging as flight and any other travel and transport category, monetising such user base is very tough. Since Google has entered train query segment, it would be interesting to see how it impacts the status quo and competition including Ixigo in future.
One of its close competitors and most-funded startups in this segment, RailYatri had scooped up $10 million in Series B round led by impact investor Omidyar Network.
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