Indian companies seem to be making quite an impression on US search engine giant Google. Just a few months ago, the Alphabet subsidiary acquired Halli Labs, a Bangalore-based artificial intelligence firm, and Google is now in talks to acquire Indian search engine firm Just Dial.
While the talks are said to be at an initial stage, acquiring the Mumbai-based firm will be quite a good deal for Google as it will get an access to Just Dial's database of about 20 million listings.
"Google has been talking to Just Dial for an acquisition for some time. Both the companies entered into exclusive talks about two months ago," an investment banker who is familiar with the talks told Business Standard. "It may take some more time before the discussions are finalised."
The California-based giant has been expanding its business in India for quite some time now and has been trying to dominate the listings market. Apart from Google Maps, it also joined hands with UrbanClap and Faasos to start Google Aero, which is a rival of Just Dial.
Speaking of the reported talks between Google and Just Dial, the Indian firm's Chief Financial Officer Abhishek Bansal told BS: "Just Dial, as part of its regular business, does meet various relevant corporates for exploring any business/strategic tie-ups. In case there are any developments to disclose, we shall do it at an appropriate time." Meanwhile, Google is yet to speak about it.
Even though Just Dial has been doing well in India, it is not without competition, and to stay abreast with this and the current trends, the Mumbai-based brand has made quite some effort. For instance, after the web version of the search engine, Just Dial introduced the Search Plus, an Android App, which makes it easier for users to look for listings.
Many have said that the deal may benefit Just Dial, and another investment banker told the business daily: "Increasing competition in listing services from Google can make the business for Just Dial tough. But an acquisition by Google can grow Just Dial's business much faster as it will get prominence in search."
Speaking of Google's previous acquisition, the firm seemed pretty pleased with its deal with Halli Labs. The start-up announced the news on July 12, but neither Google nor the AI firm disclosed the details of the acquisition including the finances involved.
Google simply told Tech Crunch that it was "excited" about Halli Labs joining their team "that is focused on building products that are designed for the next billion users coming online, particularly in India."
Later, Google's vice-president for product management Caesar Sengupta too welcomed the team of Halli Labs on Twitter and posted: "Welcome @Pankaj and the team at @halli_labs to Google. Looking forward to building some cool stuff together."
Halli Labs was co-founded by Pankaj Gupta, the chief technology officer of now obsolete brand Stayzilla, early this year and works towards building deep learning and machine learning systems.