Russia-based Yandex purchases Israeli firm KitLocate

March 18
7:22 AM 2014

Yandex, the Russia-based search company, has bought Israel-based KitLocate for "several million euros," TechCrunch reported.

A three-year old company, KitLocate manufactures battery-efficient mobile geolocation technology manufacturer. It provides iOS and Android developers with an SDK that would enable their apps to be location aware. Geo-fencing, motion detection and social location are among the geo-location tools that are provided by KitLocate's SDK, the report said.

Yandex said the purchase of KitLocate's technology will also enable them to enable its mobile search app to fuel location-based search results and ads, among others. Yandex told TechCrunch, "We will use it in our mobile search app which is now available for both iOS and Android, to provide more location-connected results when a user search on mobile."  The technology could also be used for the other apps and services of Yandex that don't need to be continuously synched via GPS, the report said.

As part of the deal, KitLocate's team of eight members will become part of the mobile search team at Yandex. Meanwhile, KitLocate's office in Tel Aviv will serve as the new research and development office of Yandex. It will also be the new home of engineers and mobile QAs that Yandex intends to hire, the report said.

The company's SDK only consumes less than 1% per hour of use. KitLocate said this is due to "its proprietary algorithms which allow location-based apps to request the device's geographic coordinates less frequently without losing too much precision," the report said.

KitLocate's technology, however, cannot be utilized for car navigation and maps since these require geo tracking every second. However, the blog post that revealed the purchase said its cloud solution holds a lot of promise for "location-based recommendation apps," the report said.

After the acquisition, apps/services developers will still be able to use KitLocate's SDK, the report said.

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