South Korea’s most popular car ride-sharing company Socar announced on April 17th that it has acquired Polariant, a startup that develops positional tracking technology using polarized light detection.
Established in 2015, Polariant’s interior geometries technology can identify location and route of movement even indoors where GPS services are not available, such as underground parking lots, etc. With the acquisition, SoCar and Polariant are expected to accelerate the development of upgraded mobility platform technologies and space intelligence solutions.
Polariant is the second startup that Socar has acquired within a year. In July 2018, Socar acquired VCNC VCNC, the mobility startup that provides a ride-sharing service called Tada. Having faced some initial disruption, Tada is now functional in Seoul and Incheon with 11-seat vans. Socar also invested in the self-driving startup RideFlux in August last year and in the electric bicycle-sharing platform Elecle in March of this year.
In the beginning of this year, Socar had attracted an investment of about 50 billion won or $ 44.5 million from multiple investors including KB Investment, Stone Bridge Ventures, and Softbank Ventures, along with the Silicon Valley-based VC, Altos Ventures.
With acquiring Polariant, SoCar has moved to the direction of its plans to utilize the investment for development. The company hopes to develop solutions to help the mobility industry with Polariant. “The completeness of the technology that Polariant has is very meaningful, and if expanded to the mobility industry, it can make further technological advancements, “SoCar CEO Lee Jae-woong told media. “SoCar will continue to invest in startups to create a mobility platform ecosystem and accelerate technology-based innovation.”