Today, on the 10th of December 2018, Google has officially acquired one of India’s most popular train tracking app – ‘Where Is My Train‘. Here is all the information about this news so just go on reading.
More about Google acquiring Where is my Train –
On 30th of August 2018, the Where is my train app had hinted that either Google or Xiaomi would be the investors for the app among many more. But it is now clear that Google has bagged the spot.
Google said that the WIMT team would “continue to build on the current offering,” so it seems that the app won’t be shuttered, immediately at least.
As TechCrunch mentions, “There’s no official price for the deal, although India’s Economic Times is reporting that it is in the region of $30-$40 million. The site reported on Google’s interest back in August, when it wrote that other suitors included Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. A Google spokesperson confirmed the deal to TechCrunch, but declined to provide a price.”
What exactly does the Where is my Train app do?
The Where is my Train app, as the name suggests is basically a train tracking app, which is very useful in a country such as India. On a daily basis, India operates about 14,000 trains across the country. Thus clearly, it’s not that big of a shock for the app to witness about 10 million plus registered users till date.
Where is my Train helps the users or the commuters to track arrivals as well as departures of the trains. Also, the app allows the users to purchase seats. It is available only for Android users but it works even if the user is using the app offline or if he/she is having poor connectivity issues with the mobile phones’ networks.
Also, it is rivaled by VC-backed companies like RailYatri and iXigo. It is owned by Sigmoid Labs which was founded by four former TiVo executives way back in 2013. It is unclear as to how much money the company has raised but the company has about 10 staffs.
What are the perks of the app?
This is a unique train app that displays live train status and up-to-date schedules. The app can function offline without needing Internet or GPS. It is also packed with useful features such as destination alarms and a speedometer. It is the highest rated travel app in India. Thank you to all the users who make the app better every day by sharing their feedback with us.
Here are few of the perks of this app –
1) Spotting Train Accurately –
Get live train status of Indian Railways anytime, anywhere. When you are traveling on a train, this feature can work without internet or GPS as it uses cell tower information to find the location. You can share current train location with your friends & family via the share feature. You can also set an alarm to wake you up at a fixed time before your railway station arrives.
2) Offline Train Schedules –
This app has the Indian Railways timetable offline. You don’t have to know train number or names as our Smart search feature allows you to use train source & destination or partial train names even with spelling errors.
3) Coach Layout and Platform numbers –
Get information on coach position and seat/berth layout before you board the train. Also shows platform numbers for boarding and intermediate stations wherever available.
4) Super efficient in Battery, Data Usage and App size –
The app is very efficient in battery and data use as key features like finding train locations and schedules can work offline without Internet or GPS. The app-size is relatively small despite having a lot of information offline.
5) Seat Availability and PNR Status –
You can check seat availability and PNR status on the official Indian Railways website within the app.
Note: The app does not have any affiliation whatsoever to Indian Railways. The app is basically private.
Words of the Where is my train team –
“We created the “Where is my train” app with the mission to use technology to improve the lives of millions of Indian train travellers. Over time, we’ve improved the app to make it even more convenient and useful, and we’re thrilled with the response that we’ve gotten from users. The confidence that our users have placed in us is what makes us so excited to think even bigger.
That’s why we’re excited to share that Sigmoid Labs, the team behind the “Where is my train” app, is joining Google. We can think of no better place to help us achieve our mission, and we’re excited to join Google to help bring technology and information into more people’s hands.
They also told that “We are really grateful for the support and love you have shown us so far. We are short of words to thank you at this moment. Thank you to all of our users and supporters along the way! “
— Team Wimt
More Insight –
Google and its keen interest over India –
The deal falls under Google’s ‘Next Billion User’ division which is developing products and services to help increase internet adoption in emerging markets. Till date it’s been focused strongly on India where Google has developed data-friendly ‘lite’ versions of popular apps like YouTube, and initiatives like public WiFi for India’s rail network that’s used by over eight million people.
That scope has also covered services, with Google looking at apps that provide information and utility to Indian consumers. Google launched an on-demand app and a mobile payment service last year, and this year it released a neighborhood Q&A service. The Where is my Train deal certainly fits that strategy and you’d imagine it’ll become a core part of Google’s consumer-facing product line in India.
The deal is also one of the most significant to date for a U.S-based tech firm in India. Facebook, Twitter, Google and even Yahoo have made acquisitions to build teams or acquire talent but Where is my Train seems significantly more strategic as a product.
The service’s significant user-base would suggest that Google might look to develop and expand its scope to perhaps touch on other areas. Ride-hailing apps, for example, have moved into adjacent spaces including entertainment, payments and food delivery to take advantage of their position as daily apps.