The world's largest car parts supplier Bosch leapt into ride-sharing services Wednesday, announcing the takeover of US commuter carpooling startup Splitting Fares.
Stuttgart-based Bosch did not say how much it paid for the Detroit-based firm, also known as SPLT, which was founded in 2015.
In a market that has been dominated in recent years by taxi-style giants such as Uber and Lyft, Bosch said it saw development opportunities in the sector for companies to offer ride-sharing services to their employees.
"Companies and commuters have been seen as less of a priority" so far, it said in a statement.
Bosch believes travel to and from work is a "growth market", part of a far-reaching shift in personal transport powered by the mobile internet.
Bosch is following in the footsteps of other German giants like BMW or Daimler, who have been exploring ride-sharing for much longer.
The move on Wednesday fitted into a wider reorganisation at the company to create a "Connected Mobility" division with more than 600 employees, offering everything from ride-sharing to real-time safety alerts for drivers.
"Connectivity offers tremendous business potential," Bosch said, citing a study from accountancy firm PwC that suggests the market for such services could reach 140 billion euros ($172 billion) worldwide by 2022.
"Bosch aims for significant double-digit growth" in sales in the field over the coming years, chief executive Volkmar Denner said.
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