MapmyIndia’s competition with Google Maps

MapmyIndia received a warm welcome at IPO, and the experts suggest they have the perfect formula for growth
Image © Red GPS Pin on Smartphone and Map. Mockup Template Screen 3D Rendering

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CE Info Systems Ltd, or popularly known as MapmyIndia, received an outstanding subscription at its IPO. The stock on Tuesday opened at a premium of over 51% at Rs 1,565 per share on the NSE v/s the issue price of ₹1,033. On BSE, too, the shares started trading at Rs 1,581 per share.

Interestingly, on the last day of subscription that closed on December 13, CE Info Systems Ltd was subscribed 154.71 times. The IPO had up to 10,063,945 equity shares for sale by existing shareholders and promoters. The price range of the set was Rs 1,000-1,033 per share. The company mobilised Rs 312 crore from anchor investors ahead of its initial share sale.

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What is MapmyIndia, and what do they do?

MapmyIndia is a leading provider of geospatial software, advanced digital maps, and location-based IoT technologies. They power Apple Inc.’s Maps and Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa voice assistant. Other customers include PhonePe, Yulu, Flipkart, HDFC Bank, Airtel, Hyundai, Avis, MG Motor, Safexpress and Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN). The digital map data of the company provides location, analytics, navigation, and other information for 7,933 towns, 6,37,472 villages, and 17.79 million places that include retail shops, restaurants, malls, hotels, ATMs, police stations, and electric vehicle charging stations, etc. The data also has 14.51 million houses or building addresses. The company is also backed by Qualcomm and Zenrin.

At the launch of the IPO, Rakesh Verma, Chairman and Managing Director, MapmyIndia, said, “It has been a journey of 26 years full of struggle and success to make digital maps that weren’t even heard of in 1995. It was our conviction that 80% of all data will have location tagged. India is a country which is so complex and vast geographically, but it was the passion of the team.” He thanked his team for building the digital map of the country.

Rakesh and Rashmi Verma founded MapmyIndia in 1995 under the banner CE Info Systems at New Delhi. Initially, the company developed web mapping technology to provide services for marketing and logistics efficiency. A major breakthrough happened in 2004 with the launch of the interactive digital mapping portal called www.mapmyindia.com, which provided customised location-based services.

Rashmi Verma, Co-founder and CTO of MapmyIndia, at the launch, stated, “Looking ahead, we think we have a great future ahead of us based on three major trends. The first one is the rise of new data sources and analytical methods such as drones and GeoAI, the second one is machine learning and AI, immersive technologies, digital twin and edge computing, and the third one is the evolution of user requirements such as smart city connected mobility, real-time applications, urban and environment precision applications and legal requirements such as cyber security. These trends are boosting the demands for products and solutions and combined with the significant investments that we are making in technology and platforms, especially our people and culture, creates a very strong space for our growth.”

A profitable company

As compared to Rs 55.18 crore in the April-September period 2020, MapmyIndia’s revenue rose to Rs 100.03 crore in the same period in 2021. The company claims to have developed digital maps covering 6.29 Mn Km of roads in India, representing 98.50% of India’s road network. They have also expanded the digital map database to include countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, UAE and Myanmar. MapmyIndia uses AI-assisted mapping processes and systems for digital geospatial data acquisition & processing; and digital map data productisation & dissemination. The company provides APIs across its platforms and regularly adds functionalities via newer SDKs, APIs, and widgets.

Atul Mehra, MD & Co CEO at JM Financial, said, “The company is a technology product and platform company which offers very unique combinations of MaaS, SaaS and PaaS. The ultimate test for a good company is one – is it an industry leader? And second – is it trusted and respected by vendors, partners and clients? It is true for MapmyIndia.” The IPO made owners Rakesh and Rashmi Verma worth USD 586 Million.

Dealing with the biggest competition  

The company’s biggest global rival is Google Maps. MapmyIndia addresses four key verticals— direct consumers, automotive, mobile Internet, and enterprises and government. The company’s clients attest to their accuracy and rich experience, but it counts for little in the direct consumer segment. The company built Move to compete in this space. Over the last few years, Move has had three million downloads. But it is small as compared to 300 million-plus Android users, who get Google Maps pre-installed. Though the Vermas started the company in 1995, when Google did not exist, GoogleMaps has now virtually lorded over this space.

But, with the Government of India’s having updated mapping policy, where they liberalised regulations on geospatial data and made it freely available for innovation and IT companies, MapmyIndia did benefit from it. With an 80 per cent market share in the B2B mapping industry, MapmyIndia received great benefits from this policy change, as foreign companies still had restrictions to develop high-definition and 3D maps, ground surveys and street-view.

Wrapping up

With their proprietary technology and network effect that result in a competitive edge to their independent, global geospatial products and platforms, the company has made their strong mark in the country. From signing an MOU with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to joining hands with ISRO, MapmyIndia is on the right track to dominating the geospatial space. Also, new edge technologies, like SaaS, PaaS, and MaaS platform providers, are poised to have a bright future, and so does CE Info Systems Ltd.

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Meeta Ramnani
Meeta’s interest lies in finding out real practical applications of technology. At AIM, she writes stories that question the new inventions and the need to develop them. She believes that technology has and will continue to change the world very fast and that it is no more ‘cool’ to be ‘old-school’. If people don’t update themselves with the technology, they will surely be left behind.

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