For about four years now, Europeans trekking in the wilderness have had access to an app that ensured they would always be able to find their way in the woods as long as they had a mobile phone… and had downloaded Komoot.
Now those of us in the U.S. can get the same benefits; the company has just launched its app for iOS and Android for North America. It’s exhaustive in its coverage. You can find a weekend trek or bike path (with maps and supported by GPS) for pretty much any location anywhere in the U.S., according to Komoot’s founder Markus Hallerman.
“We integrate data from users and open source data,” says Hallerman. “With our solutions you get recommendations wherever you are. Because we have mapping technologies, we have turn by turn navigation. We are also available on wearables now.”
So the Komoot app slices, dices, and… well… does the things you’d expect from an app.
The company started in 2010 and launched its first iPhone app in Germany. During the last year the company began incorporating open-source mapping technology, and integrated its data from its user base with the maps it had created.
And Hallerman isn’t just a founder; he’s also a customer, using the app on his hikes through the Austrian alps with his children.
The Berlin-based Komoot is different from fitness tracking apps, or editorial apps for hiking, because it delivers both mapping and editorial recommendations for every skill level. Instead of tracking movement, the company’s guides can actually recommend hikes.
It sells its packages under a freemium model. You can get the first map and itinerary for free, but subsequent packages will cost you.
So far, the company has raised $1.6 million from investors, including German regional funds and KRW Schindler Private Ventures, a fund whose anchor investor is Philipp Schindler, a vice president at Google.
“We own a huge stack of technology [and] with wearables and with the Apple watch we have a huge opportunity to disrupt an industry,” says Hallerman. “According to an outdoor study, there are $500 billion spent on travel and trips with outdoor activities.”