US: To challenge Google Maps, Esri and other map tech providers, MapBox has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Foundry Group. Chief Executive Eric Gundersen said MapBox’s software as a service makes it easy and affordable for designers, journalists and developers to put a custom, interactive map into their websites and mobile apps using open-source tools and data.
Several venture-backed startups use MapBox to deliver location-based services and content, including Foursquare Labs Inc., Hipmunk Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Evernote Corp. Mainstream news, retail and travel companies also use MapBox, the CEO said. Further he quoted in the official blog that, “Foundry Group is the perfect partner: they get big data, understand our platform play, and see how open source and open data are our comparative advantage. Most importantly, they believe in our long-term business plans to break open this space and stay independent. We”re just getting started, and are excited to have the right partners next to us.”
Because it uses open data and OpenStreetMap.org, rather than proprietary technology and data from the likes of Google, Apple, MapQuest or Esri, Gundersen says MapBox maps are not only more affordable for many businesses to use, but convey more accurate data. OpenStreetMap and other open data sources are more frequently updated than proprietary sources, he explained.