Apple Acquires Embark to Further Improve Mass Transit Navigation
Former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin reports that Apple has acquired Embark, a small Silicon Valley company focused on apps for navigating mass transit. The acquisition is Apple's third in recent months focused on mapping services, following transit navigation service HopStop and local business search firm Locationary last month.
We don’t know how much Apple paid for the several-person team it acquired very recently. But we heard from people knowledgeable about the deal that the company plans to directly integrate Embark’s technology into Apple Maps.
Embark, founded in 2011, builds apps for mobile devices powered by Android and Apple’s iOS with information about transit systems in about half a dozen U.S. cities such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Its iOS apps are still available for download, but its Android apps aren’t, according to our checks.
Apple has confirmed the acquisition, but declined to comment beyond the company's usual statement about acquiring smaller companies "from time to time".
Embark currently has ten iOS apps in the App Store, focused on transit systems in the Boston, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco Bay areas.