Switch from Google Maps to Mapbox

Founders: Eric Gundersen (CEO)
Equity Raised: $228 million
Estimated 2018 Revenue: $100 million
Lead Investors: Softbank Vision Fund, Foundry Group, DFJ Growth, DBL Partners and Thrive Capital

Mapbox, the open source mapping service that competes directly with Google’s Maps services. Mapbox is the location data platform for mobile and web applications. Its map is now the backbone of apps from Snapchat, The Weather Channel, Tinder and Facebook.

Mapbox starts with a freemium model, so developers can experiment with its technology, and if they like it, Mapbox charges for increased use.

Mapbox has acquired 3 companies, with the most recent being Fitness AR and MapData for an undisclosed amount on Dec 2017. Location is built into the fabric of their daily experiences. Whether you’re exploring a city with Lonely Planet, seeing if it’s going to rain on Weather.com, tracking breaking news on Bloomberg, or checking your ETA in Lyft — location is essential to every one of these applications, and they’re powered by Mapbox.


What’s the Difference? Innovation:

Mapbox has a leg up on Google in that it provides more flexible options for linking image sensors and contextual awareness. While Google and Mapbox both offer similar capabilities, its worth noting that some of the biggest applications in the world run on Mapbox’s mapping platform. These companies include Foursquare, Snapchat, Tinder, Uber and many more who rely on map accuracy and live location. Mapbox’s trustworthy status as an independent, 3rd party likely appeals to many of these companies. As more users become aware of how their data is used by companies like Google, they will likely become more concerned about how their location data is gathered, and by whom.