Search engine Google and smartphone maker Xiaomi are vying to invest in the two-year-old startup Where Is My Train. This app provides live updates on the location of the train, without the use of Internet or GPS. Owned by Sigmoid Labs, Where Is My Train is one of the most-downloaded train-based apps in the country with as many as 10 million downloads.
People in the know revealed that Google is in talks to acquire the company for $30-40 million. Google is planning to buy the company as part of their Next Billion Users initiative. Xiaomi, on the other hand, has held discussions for the investment, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
However, as the daily mentioned, a Google spokesperson denied the development, something that Sigmoid Labs cofounder Ahmed Nizam Mohaideen also reiterated.
If the deal follows through, it will be the first product acquisition in India by a large global Internet company.
Founded by five former executives of US tech entertainment company, TiVo Corporation, Where Is My Train has a small team of fewer than 10 employees. They are based out of Bengaluru.
The app uses cell tower information to locate trains as well as offers an offline integration of Indian Railways and IRCTC timetables. One can also locate trains on the app with partial train names, and even destination.
One need not be bothered about details like PNR or train numbers to track the train. Moreover, the app is available in seven regional languages along with English. This makes the app easy to use for people across the country. Reaching out to people in the far end of the country is part of Google's Next Billion Users strategy.