Mapping startup Citymaps today announced a new $6 million funding round. The company’s app, which was previously available on iOS, also launched on Android, and it expanded its previously US-centric coverage to 80 million points of interest across the world.
So why would you need another mapping app? Co-founder and President Aaron Rudenstine came by the TechCrunch office to demo Citymaps for me, and it really does feel different from, say, Apple or Google Maps. The most obvious difference is a focus on points of interest — sure, the bigger mapping platforms include them too, but they’re front-and-center in Citymaps, with big logos representing the restaurants, bars, and stores on a given block.
Obviously, a map can’t always show you everything, but Rudenstine said Citymaps will focus on what’s popular and, over time, start emphasizing locations that seem to match your interests.
The other big selling point is the way Citymaps allow users to create their own collections, say of their favorite restaurants in a given neighborhood, either to share with friends or just for their own memory.
And yes, once you find a restaurant or bar or theater, Citymaps will also give you driving, walking, or mass transit directions.
Rudenstine argued that other local discovery tools, like Yelp, can’t be this “map-centric” because, well, they haven’t built their own maps. And even though Apple and Google seem to inching in this directiontoo, there are millions and millions of people who already rely on their existing mapping product: “For them to change their core interface and core experience to solve for something totally different, it would be very very hard for them to do that.”
The funding comes from Nokia Growth Partners, Coatue Management, Acadia Woods, and existing investors, with Nokia’s Paul Asel joining Citymaps’ board of directors. This brings the company’s total funding to $11 million.