E-comerce giant Flipkart picks small stake in mapping firm

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Leading e-tailer Flipkart on Thursday announced it was acquiring a minority stake in Delhi-based mapping firm MapmyIndia.

The Bengaluru-based e-commerce major, however, did not disclose the value or quantum of equity shares it bought in the digital map data company.

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With Flipkart joining as strategic investor, MapmyIndia’s early investors Nexus Venture Partners and Lightbox Ventures are exiting.

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Set up by CE Info Systems Ltd, MapmyIndia also provides global positioning system (GPS) navigation, tracking, location-based apps (applications) and GIS (geographical information services) solutions.

The strategic stake will enable the e-tailer to leverage the mapping firm’s technology in location intelligence across its logistics network and improve first-mile pick-up and last-mile delivery operations.

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“MapmyIndia’s domain expertise will result in better address verification, real-time shipment tracking, facility mapping and theft minimization via geo-fencing,” the company said in a statement.

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Terming the investment a strategic fit, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal said integration of accurate location data would allow it deliver merchandise efficiently and have a competitive advantage in the growing e-commerce space.

“We have seen strong demand for our map and location products from e-tailers, leading car makers and state-run agencies,” MapmyIndia co-founder Rakesh Verma said on the occasion.

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The eight-year-old Flipkart claims to offer about 30 million products across 70 categories, including books, media, consumer electronics and lifestyle.

With 750 employees, the over 23-year-old MapmyIndia provides advanced maps of India using field surveys and latest mapping technology to government and private customers.

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