Business

Yandex scoops up low-power geolocation startup KitLocate

Image Credit: KitLocate image modified by Eric Blattberg / VentureBeat

Russian search giant Yandex cares about your devices’ battery life — or at least it thinks there’s a valuable business opportunity in helping you save it.

The company has acquired KitLocate, a geolocation firm focused on low battery consumption, it announced Tuesday morning. Founded in 2011, Tel Aviv-based KitLocate makes an SDK for iOS and Android that enables developers to add location-based features to their apps, including geofencing, motion detection, and social location.

Yandex declined to disclose the exact terms of the deal, but it was a combination of cash and performance-based and deferred compensation. The total asking price was reportedly “several million euros.”

“KitLocate’s technology is the best in its area which is available as SDK and platform — not only as completed apps,” Roman Chernin, head of search at Yandex, told VentureBeat. “The team is great and we are happy to hire all eight staffers as a part of Yandex’s mobile search team.”

Chernin said Yandex will deeply integrate KitLocate’s tech with its mobile services. The blog post announcing the acquisition mentioned location-based recommendation apps as a promising use for KitLocate’s cloud solution.

Chernin also promised Yandex will continue to offer KitLocate’s technology to other developers. “It won’t be devoured by Yandex,” he said.

KitLocate’s offices will become Yandex’s research and development center in Tel Aviv, Israel. Yandex plans to “gradually” hire more employees in Israel, Chernin told us.

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