Location platform Mapbox raises $280m

  • September 25, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

California-based Mapbox, a location platform powering navigation for Toyota, General Motors and BMW, has completed a $280m series E funding round.

The money will be used to fuel investments into AI location services and broaden its footprint in the automotive industry. The company has long been the go-to location platform for powering mobile apps and logistics, from rendering animated radar maps for the Weather Company to helping Instacart deliver groceries on-time.

Now, Mapbox has established itself in the automotive industry, working with brands known for leading the market in innovation.

This funding accelerates Mapbox efforts to bring AI into the car, with ADAS features for automated driving and safety that work across a wider range of roads and more geographic locations. The Mapbox map allows vehicles and devices to share 28 billion global daily map detections. With an increasingly sophisticated set of sensors inside vehicles, automakers need embedded AI processing to enable fast decision making.

“It’s this combination of data and AI processing that is unique to Mapbox,” said Mapbox CEO Peter Sirota. “It’s what allows us to satisfy our customers’ needs across automotive, logistics, business intelligence and mobile apps. This investment will allow Mapbox to bring its AI technology closer to the sophisticated camera and lidar sensors inside the vehicle, so split-second decisions can be made with the best data possible.”

Mapbox will leverage its real-time map to give automakers the required data and AI to comply with safety standards such as Europe’s GSR and NCap. The AI map also plays a role in automotive electrification by integrating with in-vehicle battery systems to monitor energy consumption, intelligently forecasting range, suggesting charging stations based on real-time availability, and facilitating secure payment processing.

Beyond automotive, delivery companies will gain access to local details that efficiently guide drivers to destinations. App developers gain richer 3D map content to create engaging virtual environments in travel, fitness and weather. And companies of all kinds can leverage the live map to analyse how their business performs through the lens of location intelligence.

The funding round was led by SoftBank.

“We believe Mapbox is unlocking entirely new applications for AI in the car,” said Vikas Parekh, managing partner for SoftBank Investment Advisors. “As AI-driven location features become increasingly sophisticated and computationally demanding, I’m thrilled to see SoftBank’s broad portfolio of companies help Mapbox bring those to market faster.”

Mapbox will be making product announcements at SoftBank World (sbw.tm.softbank.jp) in Tokyo from October 4th to 5th.

Mapbox (www.mapbox.com) equips organisations with AI-enhanced tools and data to power navigation for people, packages and vehicles everywhere. More than four million registered developers and nearly 40 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have chosen Mapbox because of the platform’s flexibility, security and privacy compliance. Organisations use Mapbox applications, data, SDKs and APIs to create customised and immersive experiences.