Bengaluru-based cab hailing unicorn Ola has announced the acquihire of Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Pikup.ai. The deal value remains undisclosed, however, Pikup.ai founders — Inder Singh and Ritwik Saikia — along with its team will join Ola.
Founded in 2018, Pikup.ai uses autonomous technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision and sensor fusion to provides seamless AI-powered solutions for businesses.
With the acquihire, Ola aims to advance the application of machine learning and AI to identify deep insights that can lead to improved mobility outcomes. This will include investments in early-stage businesses, acquisitions as well as acquihires across Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision and other emerging areas of deep technology.
Founded by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in January 2011, Ola is now offering its services across 50 cities in India, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The company claims to complete over a billion rides annually with its over 1.5 Mn drivers.
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Ola believes that this acquihire will also deliver innovations that continue to improve safety and transform customer experience. Ankit Bhati, cofounder and CTO, Ola said, “As we advance on our mission to build mobility for a billion people, we are investing in futuristic technology solutions that will shape the future of mobility in India and the world.”
The development comes after Ola announced its plans to set up Advanced Technology Centre in San Francisco Bay area with a team of over 150 engineers.The Advanced Technology Centre will look to onboard world-class talent who will collaborate closely with global teams in the various geographies where Ola operates.
The centre will build cutting-edge technology solutions to accelerate Ola’s ambitions across electric mobility and connected vehicles as well as lead futuristic experiments like autonomous vehicles.
For this, Ola was looking to hire experts across Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Sciences, Engineering and Product Development. The acquihire looks to complement Ola’s plans for developing next-gen technologies further.
Inder Singh, cofounder Pikup.ai said, “We are looking forward to joining Ola on its mission to build mobility for a billion people and are very excited about building meaningful technology solutions that have a deep impact on the lives of millions, every single day.”
Ola has raised over $3.8 Bn from marquee investors such as SoftBank, Ratan Tata, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors, Sachin Bansal and others. However, as the company seeks to close another $2 Bn funding round, it is struggling to avoid SoftBank from increasing its stake in the company.
With planned experiments in electric mobility, self driving, and two wheelers rentals at the tech centre in the US, Pikup.ai is further expected to speed up Ola’s growth plans.