Google is regarded as a key supplier of mapping technology to Uber in the IPO filing of the ride-sharing company which became available today.
In the filing, Uber disclosed: “We rely upon certain third parties to provide software for our products and offerings, including Google Maps for the mapping function that is critical to the functionality of our platform.”
The technology of Google Maps appears when a person enters a destination in the Uber app; the technology displays the current place, the destination and a route, along with the estimates of arrival times.
Uber disclosed that it entered into an agreement with Google over map services last October 2015.
Uber stated: “From January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2018, we have paid Google an aggregate of approximately $58 million pursuant to this agreement.”
Shortly after the agreement was finalised, Uber hired Manik Gupta, the then the director of product management for Google Maps. Gupta is currently serving as the chief product officer of Uber.
In 2015, Uber acquired deCarta, a mapping start-up, for an undisclosed amount. J. Kim Fennell, the CEO of the start-up, is currently the head of product partnerships and U.S. and Canada business development of Uber. He is the person who signed the two contracts with Google for its mapping technology on behalf of Uber.
It seems like the deal will continue for some period of time, as Uber does not see a viable alternative. It noted: “We do not believe that an alternative mapping solution exists that can provide the global functionality that we require to offer our platform in all of the markets in which we operate. We do not control all mapping functions employed by our platform or Drivers using our platform, and it is possible that such mapping functions may not be reliable.”
An Uber spokesperson said that Uber also utilises the public cloud of Google in addition to Amazon Web Services.