It wants to improve ETAs

Uber buys a mapping company, but this isn’t its first acquisition

Uber bought mapping company deCarta today, as first reported by Mashable and confirmed by the on-demand ride company.

The San Jose-based startup provides technology for turn-by-turn navigation and local search with its software system. It powers the mapping backend for consumer-facing apps. Uber explained that deCarta will help Uber fine-tune the way it calculates ETAs, benefiting products like UberPool.

A spokeswoman also told me that this isn’t Uber’s first acquisition. She said, “We have made a very small number of other acquisitions. We haven’t disclosed the companies.”

The transport giant must have bought the other companies a some point in the last five months. During TechCrunch Disrupt in September 2014, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said he hadn’t made any acquisitions yet because he’s been focused on “product” instead of “M&A,” or mergers and acquisitions. It’s unusual for a company of Uber’s size and influence to have made no acquisitions for technology or recruiting purposes, so it makes sense that the situation changed in the last five months, as Uber raised billions more in venture funding.

Now, to figure out exactly which companies Uber secretly purchased…

This story has been updated, with a new headline, after Uber confirmed it made other acquisitions in the past.