Mapillary secures $15 million Series B led by BMW i Ventures to...

Mapillary secures $15 million Series B led by BMW i Ventures to accelerate global map data collection

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Malmö: Mapillary, the world’s leading street-level imagery platform that extracts map data using computer vision, has raised $15 million in Series B funding in the latest push to scale smart map data collection. The round is led by BMW i Ventures, with participation by Samsung Catalyst Fund and NavInfo together with existing investors including Atomico and Sequoia Capital. The startup already maintains the world’s largest street-level imagery dataset at over 260 million images and serves stakeholders in mapping, cities and automotive that are looking to create and update map data through the use of computer vision.

Built to ensure a transparent and scalable way of updating maps and recently HD automotive maps, Mapillary currently serves 22 billion map objects in over 190 countries, with clients ranging from the Volkswagen Group and mapping giant HERE, to entire countries and NGOs such as Lithuania and The Red Cross. Mapillary’s collaborative platform allows anyone to contribute street-level images captured with any camera, with Mapillary’s computer vision technology being used to connect the images and automatically extract map data. The technology is increasingly interesting to the automotive industry, as the global market for driverless cars is set to surge to $127bn by 2027.

Uwe Higgen, Managing Partner of BMW i Ventures, says: “There is a growing need for an independent provider of street-level imagery and map data, which acts as a sharing platform among different players. Sharing data is crucial to maintaining accurate maps and safer autonomous vehicles as no single player has the necessary deployment in place to ensure this. Mapillary has made great progress and built technology that will let everyone update maps in a scalable way.”

The new investor group adds considerable experience and insight into delivering map data and integrating it into HD and regular maps, which co-founder and CEO Jan Erik Solem says will help Mapillary ramp up its automotive-specific integrations:

“The world is still just scratching the surface of autonomous driving and we know that the demand for a collaborative platform that works across different systems and maps will be steadily growing as autonomous cars hit the streets in increasing numbers. That’s the platform we’ve been building since we started out in 2013, and our new investors’ expertise in both the automotive industry and map data distribution will help us realise Mapillary’s global potential in the coming years.”

Patrick Cheng, CEO of NavInfo, says: “Going forward, we believe there is an increasing need for people, companies and autonomous vehicles to better and faster understand the world we live in. And we believe data sharing is the key to make it happen. With Mapillary’s technology and platform, a new philosophy of keeping both standards and HAD maps advanced, accurate and fresh has become a reality, which could ultimately result in a safer and better autonomous driving experience.”

“Before we can realize a future of connected, autonomous cars, we need reliable, intelligent maps,” said Ekaterina Almasque, Managing Director of Samsung Catalyst Fund in Europe. “Mapillary’s industry leading technology platform turns everyday travel data into a powerful tool— one of the most robust datasets for street-level imagery in the world. With our acquisition of HARMAN and our new DRVLINE platform for autonomous driving, we’ve seen what’s possible in mobility when you foster an open ecosystem of companies working together to build a smarter, safer future.”

Mapillary is headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, and has a deep learning lab in Graz, Austria. The company has previously raised $9.5m in venture capital from some of the world’s most experienced investors, including Atomico and Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital, bringing the total amount of capital raised to $24.5m. Anyone who wants to contribute street-level images to the Mapillary platform can do so through the Mapillary app