Collaborative Mapping Startup CloudMade Lands $12.3 Million From Greylock

CloudMade, which provides collaborative data and tools to developers and OEMs for mapping and navigation applications, has raised $12.3 million in series B funding led by Greylock Partners with existing investor Sunstone Capital participating in the round. This brings the startup’s total funding to $15.7 million.

CloudMade’s platform allows third parties to create applications with stylized and customized map tiles, fully featured turn-by-turn navigation, in-app advertising, local search and data sets relevant to thousands of consumer activities. CloudMade distributes its collaborative mapping, package maps, geo services and advertising to developers and businesses; its main customers are mobile developers, OEMs and network operators. Some of the 12,000-plus developers using CloudMade’s API include Skobbler, OffMaps, Geocaching, Trails, Ride the City, GayCities, and Dopplr.

The startup uses data from partnership with OpenStreetMap (OSM), a wiki map of the world that has over 250,000 users worldwide (and is adding 3,500 new users per week), making over 7,000 edits per hour. CloudMade’s CEO Juha Christensen likens the relationship between his company and OSM to that of the Mozilla Corporation and the non-profit arm Mozilla Foundation. In fact, OpenStreetMap founder Steve Coast works at CloudMade.

The company will use the funding to attempt to build the world’s most comprehensive map and geo database, and serve this data to developers, device manufacturers and mobile
operators. The investment will also be used to build out and add to CloudMade’s suite of consumer-focused mapping products, Mapzen.

Christensen believes that collaborative mapping will do to the mapping industry what Wikipedia did to encyclopedias. Of course, the startup faces competition in space, including Google. But CloudMade has built a loyal base of developers and OpenStreetMap seems to have no lack of participation from the crowd, making its data incredibly valuable.