Germany's Bosch snaps up US commuter app

German car parts supplier Bosch is buying US carpooling startup, Splitting Fares
German car parts supplier Bosch is buying US carpooling startup, Splitting Fares

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 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 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.

© 2018 AFP

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