Map scale

Hivemapper raises $18 million to create a decentralized map of the world

Mapping startup Hivemapper Inc. announced today that it has raised $18 million in seed funding that will support the launch of its dash cam and network that will pay drivers in cryptocurrency for the creation of decentralized maps.

Multicoin Capital led the Series A funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $23 million to date. Craft Ventures, Solana Capital, Shine Capital and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 and Sunny Ventures also participated in the round.

Hivemapper’s vision is to democratize and decentralize map production by putting the tools to create them in the hands of ordinary people and also provide an incentive by paying them for their part of the process.

Drivers can purchase the dashcam, which can currently be pre-ordered for $449, and get paid in HONEY Network cryptocurrency just to drive around their city. Map publishers can also earn tokens by processing data by performing quality assurance and annotating images with tags such as identifying stop signs, restaurants and shops, and other points of interest. ‘interest.

Businesses and governments rely on accurate, up-to-date map data to make informed decisions about logistics, deliveries and routes. They are the other side of the mapping equation and benefit from having more people on the road to create constantly updated maps.

Hivemapper co-founder and CEO Ariel Seidman told SiliconANGLE that one of the ways the company could disrupt mapping is the freshness of the maps it produces.

“For example, a Google Street View of downtown Palo Alto, University Avenue, which is Google’s backyard, might only be updated every 14 months from an imagery perspective. “, did he declare. “Then you look at a place like Lagos, Nigeria, and it gets updated maybe every three or four years. There are a lot of things that change in a single year – or even three or four years – especially in a growing city like Lagos.

Hivemapper also has a feature called Freshview which allows customers to zoom in on any point and see a time-lapse of the location – essentially a Wayback Machine of what it looked like over time, such as recalled by the network.

Putting mapping technology in the hands of everyday people also means there’s a greater likelihood that more of the city can be seen and mapped. Siedman clarified that Hivemapper’s network is in an ideal position to be used by taxi drivers and delivery people who see every part of the city – including back roads, parking lots and all the nooks and crannies that might otherwise be missed.

“A lot of large fleets, such as FedEx and UPS around the world, obviously pay Google Maps to use their services,” Siedman said. “Yet they drive all day. One day, these delivery vehicles could be outfitted with a Hivemapper dash cam and be part of a map seeding that refreshes at a much higher rate that the company also benefits from.

The dashcams will begin shipping in July 2022. While the $450 price tag might seem a little prohibitive, Siedman said that’s only because it was the first version of the dashcam to be produced. The dashcam is based on open source software and hardware specifications and the company has already been approached by hardware vendors interested in creating their own versions, at scale, for other markets that would help reduce post-launch costs.

“These maps have the potential to be near real-time,” Siedman said. “A community-owned, open-source map is the only way to permanently build a living, breathing, constantly updated view of our world.”

Photo: Hivemapper

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