Here fought off Uber to hire mapping engineers from failed startup Karhoo

Here CEO Edzard Overbeek. Here

One of 2016’s biggest UK startup failures came in the form of Karhoo; a company that filed for administration in November after saying it had raised $250 million (£204 million) for its app that allowed people to compare taxi prices and hail a ride.

But when one company goes out of business, another will always be there to try and take advantage of the situation.

Here, a mapping company owned by Audi, BMW, and Daimler, has hired several dozen former Karhoo employees, according to LinkedIn.

“We’ve hired about 30 people who were previously working at Karhoo,” a Here spokesman told Business Insider. “Most are PhD-level data scientists specialising in machine learning and data science, and they’re going to staff a new Here innovation center in Tel Aviv.”

The centre will be led by Liad Itzhak the ex-chief technology officer at Karhoo and the former head of analytics, big data and map quality at navigation service Waze, which is now owned by Google.

“The average service time at Karhoo for our new hires was only 2-4 months for these guys, before they had to leave the company,” the Here spokesman added. “Our CEO Edzard Overbeek flew out to Tel Aviv in November to personally make a case for them to join us.”

Here mapping car

Uber was also in the market to hire some of the former employees from Karhoo, according to a source familiar with the matter.

While Here was battling for talent with Uber, Apple managed to quietly poach a number of employees from Here for a secret Apple Maps team in Berlin, where Here employs 970 staff.

A source, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Apple strategically moved in on Here’s talent as the mapping company was passed from Nokia to Microsoft to the German automotive group.

“It’s pretty typical that other companies will look at our talent,” said a Here spokesman. “But it goes both ways — we have folks in Berlin who have previously worked at Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and so on.”

Uber did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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