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This start-up is taking on Google Maps and Mapbox with lower and simpler pricing


MapJam, originally from Australia, relocated to San Francisco and is a web and mobile map publishing and developer platform for mapping applications offering OpenStreetMap maps that are simple to implement with simple pricing and terms.

A next-generation map publishing platform, MapJam offers a beautiful mapping solution for web sites and mobile apps at a significantly lower price than Google Maps, Mapbox and other online mapping solutions – up to 50-80 per cent in some cases. MapJam offers anyone 100,000 map views for free every month, with additional map views costing $0.15 per thousand views.

Utilizing the popular Open Street Maps vectors tiles, MapJam is simplifying map implementation, doing away with restrictive terms of service and simplifying pricing. MapJam for Enterprise Developers offers dead-simple pricing (no tiered plans, confusing credit schemes, monthly active user limits or annual commitments) and completely transparent terms (for your web and mobile apps, MapJams’ maps can be used with free, paid, private, or asset tracking applications, no limitations).

At a fraction of the cost of Google, Mapbox and others, MapJam offers rich vector mapping with high quality graphics (GL), complete creative control over map palettes, animated markers, and annotations, leaflet developer API with rich open source tools, delivered at scale globally with full redundancy. (AWS, IBM Softlayer, Rackspace, Azure)

Driven by the high prices and often confusing and unrealistic terms from Google Maps and Mapbox, especially for customers starting to exceed free tiers and for enterprises developing private applications, the founders were convinced that streamlining and simplification of pricing and terms were greatly needed in the marketplace.

“Our enterprise solution is for large websites with high volumes who are not only paying too much for maps but want to be at the cutting edge of mapping with innovative mapping technologies,” says MapJams co-founder Jack Gonzalez.

Jack shared more with Anthill about his innovative tech start-up in the interview below.

What is your vision for MapJam?

Smarter, simple, creative mapping! Putting mapping the hands of everyone not just the programmers.

A few years ago we launched MapJam to simplify location sharing, enabling anyone create a beautiful customized map without writing a line of code. MapJam’s simple UI lets anyone drag and drop a pin, add media, a description and share and embed. This is our consumer solution. In 2016 we launched our enterprise solution.

With MapJam, a user can map any location (even a tree) and share it with one word. Adding context to a maps helps to not only get to that location but to the end point by providing extra notes and directions on a map – we call it last mile/metre directions.

An address should not be tied to one specific location, you can have multiple locations within one address. If there are millions of addresses, there are trillions of places to meet. MapJam provides a great solution for drop offs and pickups for airports, shopping mall pickups, outdoor events, and deliveries.

We’re doing some really cool things in the mapping space with great use-cases for travel. For example, there’s a discovery opportunity while customers are exploring travel and booking hotels, that can be tied with a curation and planning opportunity that allows them to create personal maps before they travel. It would provide a great customer experience, and provide some interesting data collection opportunities. This was curated by Beaujolais.com for their wine fest event in Lyon France.

On the smart cities front, which involves curation and collaboration side, imagine if there were a simple way to obtain information from local residents for Governments to more efficiently allocate resources and amenities. There is. MapJam.com due to its simplificty and data gathering abilities. We are currently chatting with a local government to leverage MapJam to let local residents pick a location that best suits them. The maps will instantly help the local entities with their decision making process.

We have real time collaboration capabilities on a map. Think Google docs for maps. Other industries that have leveraged MapJam include journalists, real estate agents, event coordinators and brands to use maps as a marketing channel. We have a global audience.

How is MapJam doing so far?

A few years ago we launched MapJam as a consumer web app.

In July 2015 – we were accepted into the prestigious 500 Startups program (Batch 14) out of San Francisco. It’s a gruelling, intensive 3-4 month accelerator program that focuses on growth, distribution with graduation being Demo Day where you present to a room full of investors to raise funding.

On October 2015, we were invited to join Weebly.com’s app store as an alternative to Google maps. It was great time as I was able to get up on stage to announce our growth rate 500 per cent during the program. We were Voted No. 2 by VentureBeat

In January 2016, MapJam was listed as a featured “Attendee Discovery” app for Eventbrite, making it really easy to build compelling maps featuring information from Eventbrite invitations.

Towards the end of 2015, potential partners asked us if we had an enterprise solution. We imagined MapJam evolving in new ways that seized on the excitement and groundbreaking innovation in open source mapping communities, we couldn’t resist joining in.

In April 2016 we released both real time collaboration on maps and our enterprise solution. The founder of Open Street Maps was so impressed with MapJam that he joined us as an advisor.

As far as funding goes, we raised seed rounds from American and Australian angels in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 we raised our VC seed round from a prominent VC in Palo Alto with two other investors.

Check out how the founders of MapJam met