Mapsense, a 12-person, San Francisco-based company that’s been quietly producing map analytics tools for corporate customers, is today revealing that it has raised $2.1 million in funding led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Redpoint Ventures, Formation 8 and Amplify. LA.
The announcement is interesting for a few reasons, starting with what Mapsense is at its core: a modern API for geo data visualizations. Indeed, according to the company, it can cater to any customer wanting to make better sense of the many billions of location-based data points being streamed constantly from a wide variety of sources, including smartphones, connected cars, cheap satellites, commercial drones and smart grids, to name a few.
Mapsense co-founder and CEO Erez Cohen puts it in perspective, noting that “there was more location data produced in 2014 than in all of time until then.”
Mapsense counts as customers, for example, two publicly traded credit card companies that respectively see 10 percent and 50 percent of the transaction data in the U.S. While they’re (hopefully) mindful of using the data they collect in a responsible way, Mapsense is helping them help their customers. For instance, they can show restaurateurs what people are paying for Thai food in certain neighborhoods, and how their competitors down the street fared last Tuesday (and how they fared the next town over, and around the country, if they really want to know).
Others of Mapsense’s customers include mobile ad companies looking to better target potential customers.
Obviously, Mapsense is well-timed, particularly given growing corporate interest in mapping technologies. (Nokia’s mapping division has become a particularly hot commodity of late.)
Starting today, Mapsense — which charges its enterprise customers a yearly average of “six figures” based on the amount of data they push to Mapsense — is also hoping to sell its analytics tools to developers.
They won’t be paying as much to use Mapsense’s technology, but it’s a way to accelerate its growth, says Cohen, who adds that anyone can upload their data for free if they’re willing to make it public.
Worth flagging, particularly for StrictlyVC readers: Mapsense is announcing its newest funding today but actually sealed up the round a year ago. (It has raised $2.5 million to date.)
Cohen – a former Palantir Technologies engineer – insists the company’s funding announcement has nothing to do with its future fundraising plans. But if it did, Mapsense would be among a growing number of companies to go public with their funding just as they begin looking to the next round.
(By the way, here’s a rough video demonstration of how Mapsense’s technology works.)