Uber Hopes to Bank on Purchase of Nokia’s Here Mapping Tools
Standing on the threshold of being one of the highest-valued private startups of all time, the app-driven taxi service, Uber, is now positioning to purchase Nokia's Here mapping business, with whispers of a bid approaching $3 billion.
Competing with bids from German auto giants BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, Uber hopes to land Nokia in order to secure access to Here's fully established digital mapping business. The mapping tool would provide the necessary data to support services such as Uber Pool, a ride-sharing arm of Uber that relies on such mapping data to pair riders with drivers, and Uber Fresh, their food delivery service.
Uber has already taken steps toward bolstering its mapping efforts. In March, they acquired the deCarta mapping company based out of San Jose, California and have recently brought aboard mapping software engineers to augment their efforts.
And for those who doubt the significance of this deal, think again. According to The New York Times:
Nokia's mapping business holds more than an 80 percent global market share for built-in car navigation systems, and spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year to update its maps that span from New York to New Delhi. Here, which is based in Berlin, employs about 6,000 people worldwide to maintain Nokia's digital maps and connected-car services with almost three million daily adjustments. The unit reported yearly revenue of $1.1 billion, or less than 8 percent of Nokia's total sales in 2014, according company records.
For now, Uber utilizes Google Maps for its mapping needs. If the purchase of Here is successful, Uber would boast their own mappings software and data. Nokia is expected to announce their decision by the end of May.