Microsoft Buys Mobile Data Labs, Maker of MileIQ App

Mobile Data Labs' mileage tracking app for road-warrior workers is now part of Microsoft's expanding mobile software catalog.

Microsoft mobile strategy

Microsoft has snapped up Mobile Data Labs, the San Francisco-based app maker of MileIQ, for an undisclosed amount.

MileIQ for Android and iOS is a popular mileage tracking app that automatically tallies the miles that roving sales forces, business travelers and mobile professionals rack up as they drive. The paid app helps streamline the process of submitting travel reimbursement requests or deduct travel expenses by passively logging activity.

"Mobile Data Lab's MileIQ app takes advantage of sensors in modern mobile devices to automatically and contextually capture, log and calculate business miles, allowing users to confidently claim tax deductions," Rajesh Jha, corporate vice president of Microsoft Outlook and Office 365, said in a Nov. 5 announcement. That data can add up to significant savings, in both time and money, for workers that spend a significant part of their day behind the wheel.

"In fact, the average MileIQ subscriber is able to deduct $547 per month in business miles, putting money back in their pockets," Jha said. "MileIQ counts over 1 million users and has been the top-grossing finance app in the iTunes store for 20 months straight."

In the United States, users have used the app to catalog over a half a billion business miles, according to Mobile Data Labs CEO and co-founder Chuck Dietrich. "MileIQ saves customers hours in mileage logging every month and delivers an average deduction or reimbursement of more than $6,500 a year," he wrote in a separate announcement.

Microsoft's recent focus on personal productivity and delivery of intelligent, cloud-driven services aligns with Mobile Data Labs' vision, Dietrich added, specifically calling out Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's role in helping to chart out a new course for the company. "With our shared passion and commitment to mobile productivity, the San Francisco-based MileIQ team aims to advance this mutual vision by continuing to build services for self-directed workers–services like MileIQ that are automated, intuitive and give users back time, money and peace of mind."

The MileIQ deal is just the latest in a mounting collection of mobile apps Microsoft has acquired over the past year.

On Dec. 1, 2014, the Redmond, Wash., IT behemoth announced that it had acquired the popular email app Acompli for iOS and Android. Today, that app forms the basis of Microsoft's mobile Outlook app. Two months later, Microsoft announced it had snapped up the Sunrise calendar app, also for iOS and Android, in a deal reportedly valued at an estimated $100 million. Microsoft is currently working to complete the integration of Sunrise into the Outlook mobile apps.

Microsoft cut another deal in April, buying up Toronto-based Datazen Software, a mobile business intelligence software specialist. And, on June 2, the company acquired 6Wunderkinder, the German software startup that developed the popular mobile to-do app Wunderlist.

Now, Microsoft has added MileIQ to the pile. "This acquisition is the latest example of Microsoft's ambition to reinvent productivity and business process in a mobile-first, cloud-first world," Jha stated, echoing the now-familiar corporate mantra.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...