Mapillary raises $8M Series A to map world through photos

March 7, 2016  - By 0 Comments

Mapillary, a community-based photomapping platform, has received an $8 million Series A funding round led by Atomico, with participation from Sequoia, LDV Capital and PlayFair.

Anyone can contribute photos to the Mapillary platform and mobile app (available on iOS and Android) with a smartphone or action camera. The company’s computer vision software automatically extracts geographic information, blurs license plates and faces, and detects traffic signs from each photo uploaded. Then, the photos are meticulously stitched together on the map alongside other users’ photos, creating a digital representation of each location through the eyes of those who have been there.

Mapillary’s growing global community has uploaded more than 50 million photos and mapped more than 1.2 million kilometers in over 170 countries to date.

“Mapillary is reinventing the way we map and navigate our world,” said Niklas Zennström, CEO and founding partner at Atomico. “Their ambition is to transform the way we plan our cities, develop transport networks, and understand all parts of the globe. We’re proud to invest in the next phase of their growth and we look forward to working alongside Jan Erik and his team as they advance their technology and scale the business.”

Cities, corporations, and nonprofits can access Mapillary’s platform through an extensive API, which holds multiple layers of visual data. Mapillary’s ArcGIS integration — built in partnership with Esri — lets governments, nonprofits and businesses see locations evolve in real-time, arming them with insight into infrastructural problems like inefficient public transportation and changes in road conditions.

Mapillary partners with several nonprofits to help them improve infrastructure in developing countries around the world. The World Bank trains university students and local community members to use Mapillary in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to create accurate maps of the most flood-prone areas of the city, and the Red Cross has been mapping Haiti so NGOs and individuals can use the data to better respond to crises affecting the area. Mapillary allows nonprofits to allocate resources more efficiently and to empower communities to contribute to the growth and development of their cities and towns.

From backyards to Antarctica, Mapillary allows anyone to be immersed in places both familiar and unknown. This funding is bringing the company one step closer to accomplishing its goal of creating an open and complete digital representation of the earth to benefit governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and curious explorers alike.

Tracy Cozzens

About the Author:

Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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