May 23, 2022

More than a decade ago, a group of Yahoo employees struggled to compete with Google Maps when the fledgling company aggressively outperformed its competitors by positioning its offerings with great vision and unparalleled impact potential.

“We didn’t have the same budget and in the end they won. But as a competitor, it was very frustrating for me,” said Ariel Seidman, who worked as a product manager at Yahoo.

Seidman soon co-founded Gigwalk and tried to use smartphones to provide map data. The startup has grown to 2 million users, generated millions of dollars in revenue, but, in his own words, “it will never reach the scale required to create a world map.”

Much has changed in recent years, which once again convinced Seidman that it was time to make another attempt to fulfill his long-held dream of creating a global mapping infrastructure.

The massive price increase for Google Maps four years ago came as a surprise to countless companies relying on the Android maker’s offerings. Many were infuriated by this, and some were motivated to try an alternative.

For example, three startup founders in India and Pakistan told me in recent years that reducing their reliance on Google Maps would save them tens of thousands of dollars a month.

According to Reuters, which reported last month that the Justice Department “reopened its investigation into Google Maps to determine whether the service should be integrated with other Google software,” an antitrust investigation into Google Maps is underway. No.”

And then there’s the whole web3 push.

Seidman believes the right incentive model now is to get the community involved in the project and share the profits, and the infrastructure that can help the project scale quickly and the solution for these businesses can provide what makes economic sense.

“Only the largest and most capitalized tech companies in the world have the resources to produce digital maps, and even with all those resources, street images in many parts of the world only appear once every two years. Updated once. This causes a wide range of logistical, municipal and political problems. However, maps can be approximated to real time. An open-source, community-owned map is the only way to create a living, breathing, always up-to-date picture of our world,” he said.

Seidman’s new startup, HiveMapper, announced Tuesday that it has raised $18 million to continue its efforts.

The startup’s Series A round was led by Multicoin Capital. Several other investors, including Kraft Ventures, Solana Capital, Shine Capital, Spencer Rascoff K75, and Sunny Ventures, also took part in the round, bringing the total increase in HiveMapper to $23 million.

Investors will receive both shares and warrants for the token in the new round, Seidman said in an interview with gaming-updates.

HiveMapper is building a blockchain-based decentralized mapping network. It relies on dash cams, mappers and drivers to capture 4K footage at street level. This data is then processed, corrected and annotated to ensure quality.

Map consumers use Maps through a range of APIs that can receive images, directions, geocoder searches, and more. The platform’s Freshview feature allows users to zoom in on an intersection and view a time-lapse of the location.

For their contributions, HiveMapper says it rewards both drivers and editors with a native token from a startup called Honey.

Seidman said his conversations with several entrepreneurs, including Amir Halim, founder and CEO of decentralized wireless network Helium, helped him gain more confidence in the business model of transferring ownership to participants. Halim also joined the Board of Directors of HiveMapper.

“It breeds loyalty. That’s what creates excitement, isn’t it? And finally, especially for early adopters, I realized that even if they made $5,000 or $10,000 in cash, it wouldn’t matter compared to the value they actually put into the card in the early days. Ownership actually compensates them properly, especially if the map of the world turns out to be worth tens of billions of dollars or hundreds of billions of dollars,” he said.

Using a DVR has its advantages. Tushar Jain, managing partner at Multicoin Capital, said the dash cam allows drivers and the company to avoid spending on expensive card cars “and people don’t have to pay to drive those cars.”

“Instead, the network can simply identify the areas that make up the map and place an award, which is then claimed by the vast community of map authors who want these awards so they can continue their daily lives. traffic. As a result, HiveMapper delivers unparalleled coverage, freshness and quality in a much more cost effective way,” he said.

HiveMapper currently operates in nine urban areas. The company plans to expand into 30 other markets this year before expanding into international regions.

The startup plans to open businesses such as logistics and delivery companies, governments and non-governmental organizations.

HiveMapper is built on top of the Solana blockchain. (Companies buy credits that are processed on the blockchain. But any API calls from a company using HiveMapper are not considered transactions.)

This is a history of development. Further…

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