Mapping Startup CartoDB Raises $8M To Aim At Being A Geospatial Standard

Mapping and geospatial platforms are crucial to the web and app world we live in today. Remember the craziness when Apple Maps launched with a sub-standard product? Yeah, that. So companies trying to take on mapping continue to play in a fascinating and important space because dynamic or real time maps and visualisation is still a big problem to solve.

Thus today, ‘all-in-one’ web mapping and geospatial platform CartoDB has secured an $8 million Series A funding led by Berlin-based European VC Earlybird Venture Capital, with participation from existing investors Kibo Ventures and Vitamina K. The cash will be used to scale up the company which emerged out of Madrid, Spain, but it now HQ’d in New York.

The open source mapping and geospatial application platform now claims to have over 50,000 users and over 100,000 active applications.

Some of their competitors include Esri and Google Maps Engine (the B2B side of Google Maps). More distant competitors are Mapbox and Here (owned by Nokia). However, CartoDB’s pitch is that it wants to be stronger in dynamic or real time maps, and in visualisation. They also aim to expand what they describe as ‘storytelling’ their capabilities, which is effectively layering social network data and content over maps.

This leverages a grassroots community which constantly updates the quality and quantity of available data and applications on the platform via a web editor or an API.

To that end, it’s produced many news-breaking visualisations of social media layer out on a map, such as the tweets about Beyoncé releasing her new album. However, it’s also used by larger enterprises such as Deloitte, Twitter, NASA, the UN, the National Park Service and universities like Stanford, Yale and Columbia for large real time data analysis. Here’s a map around urban regeneration.

Or take a look at their maps of the Indian elections, or the Superbowl on Twitter.

We’ll continue to see others in this space as so-called GIS technology is a $2.5 billion market and data visualisation alone is said to be worth $4.2 billion.

But CartoDB is off to a good start.