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.

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.

“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.

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.

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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