Our investment in Mapillary: transforming photo mapping through crowdsourcing
Visual mapping, like Google’s Street View, has traditionally been a complicated and lengthy process, resulting in significant time lags between the process of collecting the images and those images appearing online.
With a community-based approach, Sweden-based Mapillary has been able to radically improve and speed up the process by crowdsourcing photos taken by smartphones and action cameras across the world. The startup then uses machine vision technology to stitch images together, creating immersive ground-level maps and 3D locations. This results in detailed maps that are available in real-time, with community members controlling what gets mapped with photos they take. Since launching in late 2013, Mapillary’s global community have uploaded more than 50 million photos and mapped over 1.2 million kilometers in over 170 countries.
Founded by successful entrepreneur Jan Erik Solem, Mapillary is putting the power of maps back into human hands. The company is working on exciting projects with organisations such as the World Bank in Tanzania and the Red Cross in Haiti to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world. This can enable NGOs and charities to respond more effectively to crises through Mapillary’s images and data.
We’re proud to announce that we’re leading Mapillary’s latest investment round, worth $8 million, alongside prominent investors Sequoia Capital, LDV Capital and Playfair. Mapillary is reinventing the way we map and navigate our world, and we’re looking forward to working with Jan Erik and his team as they advance their technology and scale the business.