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Google purchases Sigmoid Labs; boosts NBU initiative with second acquisition

Google’s Next Billion User (NBU) is getting a boost. Marking its second startup buy, Google has acquired Sigmoid Labs, the Bengaluru startup behind the popular ‘Where is my Train’ app. Earlier in 2017, Google had acquired Halli Labs. With these acquisitions, Google intends to bolster efforts to build India-specific apps and services that appeal to the first-time Internet and smartphone users in the country.

Sigmoid, in its website, has said that its ten-member team would become part of Google’s Next Billion User (NBU) group post the acquisition. It was also heard that popular smartphone maker Xiaomi was in talks to acquire Sigmoid.

‘Where is my Train’ has recorded 10 million downloads on Android. The app uses data from cellphone towers to triangulate the location of cellular devices, and in turn, that of a train. This way, the service doesn’t rely on Internet connectivity or global positioning system (GPS) to function, making it a good fit for India where Internet and smartphone penetration is still low.

“We created the “Where is my train” app with the mission to use technology to improve the lives of millions of Indian train travelers. Over time, we’ve improved the app to make it even more convenient and useful…” a post by Sigmoid Labs read. “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.”

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