Uber just bought part of Microsoft Bing's mapping technology, including 100 employees


travis kalanick, ceo uber

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Uber is acquiring part of Microsoft Bing's mapping technology, including 100 of its engineers, TechCrunch's Alex Wilhelm reports.


It looks like the main focus of the deal is Microsoft technology for collecting images.

We've known for a while now that Uber is interested in building out its own mapping product, or otherwise acquiring talent to strengthen its mapping system.

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Currently, Uber relies on Google Maps technology for its mapping. But Bing's technology would help the company develop its own mapping software and data, which would help Uber's central driving business, but also its other logistics-related endeavors, including UberFresh, its food delivery service, and UberPool, its carpooling service.

Uber and Microsoft both confirmed the purchase to TechCrunch but didn't divulge details. In addition to losing roughly 100 data-collection engineers, Microsoft has also sold "assets" to Uber, which could likely be intellectual property in the form of Bing's image collection.


Last month, Uber reportedly submitted a $3 billion bid to buy Nokia's mapping product, Here.

Uber making a bid for Here was an unusual move for the company, which hasn't made a lot of acquisitions. Even more fascinating, Wilhelm notes for TechCrunch, is the fact that Microsoft has said for years that it wouldn't sell Bing.

Here's Microsoft's statement on the acquisition: "Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company's efforts around our core business strategy. In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience. With this decision, we will transfer many of our imagery acquisition operations to Uber."

We've also reached out to Uber for comment and will update this story accordingly.

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