According to related news, Mapbox, a mapping technology company, announced the completion of $280 million in Series E financing led by SoftBank Group, in order to promote AI positioning technology and further broaden its application in the automotive industry. social media giants such as Facebook and Snapchat.Mapbox provides customers with customised map programs or data, or supports users through SDKs and APIs. Mapbox has a large market share in the B-side mobile navigation (smartphones, industry hardware, vehicles) market.

Mapbox’s wall is the combination of data and AI processing technology,” said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. This round of investment will enable Mapbox to enhance its AI technology to facilitate the fusion of complex camera and LiDAR sensor data in the vehicle.”

This new funding will accelerate Mapbox’s ability to bring AI technology to automotive applications and provide new ADAS capabilities for autonomous driving and safety for a wider range of roads and more geographic locations.Mapbox Maps allows 28 billion global map inspections to be shared by vehicles and devices daily. As sensors within vehicles become more complex, automakers need embedded AI processing to enable rapid decision-making. AI maps will also monitor energy consumption, predict range, suggest charging stations based on real-time availability and facilitate secure payment processing through integration with on-board battery systems.


In-vehicle navigation maps

Founded in 2011, Mapbox has raised more than $360 million through multiple investment rounds. This round of investment isn’t SoftBank’s first contact, either. According to 36 Krypton, back in 2017, SoftBank led Mapbox’s $164 million Series C round through the Vision Fund, one of the Vision Fund’s earliest investments.

In 2021, Reuters and other media outlets broke the news that Mapbox was planning to go public through SPAC at a valuation of $2 billion, driven by SoftBank. However, Mapbox eventually abandoned the idea due to the deteriorating IPO environment in the tech market. Subsequently, SoftBank took a sharp turn for the worse, with a number of large case investments, such as Wework, storming the market.

This also makes Mapbox’s current round of investment triggered a new concern, as part of the Softbank Group’s artificial intelligence investment plan, this round of investment is also symbolic of Softbank’s “counter-offensive”. Therefore, Mapbox’s subsequent performance deserves market attention. Softbank is in urgent need of beautiful investment targets to fight a turnaround.

Investment in the field of geographic information and map applications, but also to help Softbank build a larger ecosystem. Softbank has invested in Grab, Uber and other LBS companies, all have a large amount of map data. It would be a mutually beneficial thing for all companies if they could build co-operation within an investment circle to break down the data wall and share map data.

Map Animation

In addition to the emerging in-vehicle business, mobile applications centred on map animations and visualisations have long been Mapbox’s strength. Through Mapbox’s development tools, users are able to access richer 3D map content, enabling them to create immersive virtual environments in areas such as travel, fitness and weather. For example, The Weather Company, a world-renowned weather forecasting company, uses Mapbox’s technology to render radar map animations.

Mapbox has attracted a large number of secondary developers due to the sophistication of its development tools and community ecosystem. It is reported that Mapbox currently has over 4 million registered developers and nearly 40% of Fortune 500 companies use Mapbox’s services.

3D Animation

Geographic information and map companies, although the development speed is much slower than consumer LBS companies, but as the cornerstone of local life, has always played an important role in “selling shovels”. Whether it’s Ruixing’s thousands of shops, or Amazon or Jingdong’s front warehouses, all of them can’t do without the decision support and planning of maps.

In recent years, the feasibility of high-precision maps has been increasingly discussed in the context of the rise of China’s new car-making forces. Starting in early 2023, China’s offline consumer market begins to recover. But whether it’s in-vehicle maps or mobile maps, it’s all irrelevant to Mapbox anymore. In Mapbox’s global ecosystem, volunteer user-based access to map information contributes a large percentage of data. This volunteer geographic information model was carried forward globally by OpenStreetMap, providing basic data for many map enterprises. However, this model does not comply with Chinese laws and regulations. In China, submitting geographic data to OSM is an illegal mapping behaviour.

In 2017, Mapbox entered China, and the early data was through the cooperation with eTuTong. mapbox had also entered into cooperation with customers such as keep. After several years of development, Mapbox never got the surveying and mapping qualification, and its maps couldn’t get the review number.In the second half of 2022, Mapbox left in disgrace.