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The technology giant has bought the Bengaluru, India-based transit tracking app for a reported US$30 million to US$40 million. Where is My Train has more than 10 million downloads in India, and also allows users to buy tickets. (Economic Times)

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Talking point: The acquisition fits with Google’s hyper-local strategy for the Indian market, launched in 2016. Where is My Train works without an internet connection, just like YouTube Go and Files Go, the low- or no-data versions of its flagship products that Google first introduced in India. The company also provides free Wi-Fi to eight million monthly users at 400 railway stations around the country. Buying an already-popular app is one more way for Google to hold off Facebook, which has been growing its share of the Indian online advertising market. The subcontinent is a proxy battleground for the two firms—Google announced the railway station Wi-Fi in September 2015 after Facebook’s FreeBasics program faced considerable backlash for limiting which websites users could access.

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The sale will come as the eight-year-old firm is reportedly close to running out of money after selling few glasses and failing to attract new investment. (The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Alphabet will reportedly acquire the Kitchener, Ont.-based firm at a price below the roughly US$200 million North raised throughout its history. The firm was one of Canada’s highest-profile startups, raising funds from Amazon, Intel and Fidelity and regularly touted by institutions like the Creative Destruction Lab. In December 2019, The Logic reported that North staff had warned CEO Stephen Lake that its glasses didn’t work well for women and were being rushed to market despite bugs. According to The Globe, the firm is unlikely to have sold more than 1,000 pairs. North published over 100 patents in 2019, including ones claiming its products were superior to Alphabet subsidiary Google’s smart glasses.