what3words has completed an investment round led by Intel Capital with participation also from Li Ka Shing’s Horizons Ventures and several other existing investors. The announcement was made last week at the annual Intel Capital Global Summit in San Diego, California.
The $3.5m Series A funding round led by Intel Capital, with Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures and several of the company’s original angel investors also participating.
what3words is a location reference platform based on a global grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares, where each square has a unique pre-assigned 3 word address (see Spatial Source’s recent in-depth article about w3w). For example, “crayon.giants.liking” is a perfect spot in the Grand Canyon to take a picture of the Kaibab Suspension Bridge across the Colorado River. The solution helps everyone who needs to share or find a location, whether they are a tourist, a logistics company or a navigation system.
“what3words has great potential to transform how the world shares location by making it more memorable,” said Arvind Sodhani, Intel executive vice president and president of Intel Capital. “Intel’s strategy is to develop the best location technologies in the world. With what3words, people can use those technologies with more precision than ever before, which presents huge efficiency opportunities for businesses.”
what3words will use the new investment to add languages to the service, introduce voice recognition and expand the business’ geographical presence, including a new office in Silicon Valley.
Earlier this year what3words was awarded a Sobrato Organization Economic Development Award at Silicon Valley’s Tech Awards, and won the Grand Prix for Innovation at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
what3words addressing was also recently incorporated into software packages ArcGIS and FME. what3words is an Emerging Business Partner in the Esri Startup Program, a three-year program designed to empower small companies to solve big problems with the use of geospatial technology. The simple what3words system is now available as a locator, accessible via the industry-leading ArcGIS platform from Esri.
The locator allows ArcGIS platform users to display the 3 word address for any location or search for a 3 word address, either individually or via batch conversion to and from coordinates. It makes full use of the Esri Geoinformation Model and is accessible online or offline, anywhere in the world.
Earlier in October 2015, it was also announced that FME, the leading spatial data transformation technology created by Safe Software, now supports the innovative location referencing system what3words. Users simply access the what3words custom transformers by typing “what3words” in the Transformer Gallery directly within FME Desktop. A what3words API key is also required, and users must be operating on FME Desktop 2015.1.1 (Build 15515) or newer. These tools will enable users to encode and decode what3words addresses to and from latitude, longitude coordinates, without writing any code.