Partnering with Jan Erik Solem and the Mapillary Team

Maps are a critical need of humans around the world from major cities to rural communities. I have been tracking the mapping industry for years especially how digital imagery can help people visually understand our surroundings and get from point A to B.  

A major disruption will occur in the visual mapping space as legacy car-based mapping services have significant drawbacks compared to leveraging mobile devices in everyone’s pocket. Mapillary’s crowdsourcing with mobile devices while leveraging deep computer vision has no limits on how detailed an area can be documented or how often. Mapillary is first to market with such a unique solution.

Legacy car mapping solutions typically get visual updates every 3-4 years and only the major roads in the most important cities. We have all experienced maps where we cannot see a storefront because of construction and scaffolding or a neighborhood has changed drastically since the latest images in a map. I believe Mapillary can solve these problems and more over time. I am looking to make investments across the whole Visual Imaging business ecosystem and technology stack. Maps is just one of the many huge opportunities in the visual ecosystem.

The most important asset in any company is the team. I have worked inside many startup teams and this is one of the most challenging aspects of building a company. I search for teams with extensive domain expertise, passion, determination and fire in their eyes to build a valuable business and hopefully improve our world.

I have known Jan Erik for several years, we have co-invested in companies together, he is a computer vision genius and serial entrepreneur. While bootstrapping Mapillary over the past 16 months he has gathered an impressive team of 5 others who are also entrepreneurs with deep knowledge in computer vision. I visited them recently for strategy sessions in Sweden and it was amazing that they all come from different cultural backgrounds such as: Sweden, Norway, Germany, Poland, Spain and China.

From day one I have been impressed with how they are focused on building a unique solution which empowers their community. The community has already captured over 6 Million images, mapped over 200,000 kilometers and in 60 countries covering bike paths, hiking trails, streets, highways, parks and all areas that cars cannot cover. Such as Brazil, Reykjavík, Oman, Milan, Buenos Aires, Australia, Hong Kong, and Poland.

Mapillary’s community can capture & process in a more scalable method than any other solution on the market. Join our community and mission to visually map our world together. Download the iPhone, Android, Windows or Kindle Apps.

Their vision for empowering people to map the world will also provide valuable tools and content for Businesses. Cities, Municipalities Real Estate, Construction, Transportation, municipalities have historically used the same legacy car-based solutions but now they can leverage Mapillary business services.

We are very pleased to be co-investors in Mapillary with Sequoia Capital, Wellington Partners, Playfair and several great angels. #carpediem