Kitchener, Ontario indoor mapping platform Mappedin has closed a seed extension, led by Green Century Investments, with an assist by Amolino, and other local investors, bringing the company’s total venture capital financing to $3.5 million.
In 2015, Mappedin increased revenue by 507%, with demand soaring for its digital wayfinding platform, used primarily by premium malls, REITs and retailers to enable search and discoverability of indoor spaces for consumers.
Mappedin, which currently employs 33 people, forecasts that revenue growth figure to triple by the end of 2016.
“We’ve always believed in the value of search indoors and the underlying need for better data management tools to digitize dynamic spaces,” said Mappedin CEO and co-founder Hongwei Liu. “Last year’s market demand was truly eye-opening for us. We learned that premium malls and retailers are actively seeking a solution that can help them bring the discoverability inherent online to the in-store experience, and they recognize that the only way to do that is through great digital infrastructure and wayfinding experiences.”
In addition to the fundraising extension, MappedIn is announcing two key hires to expand its sales and marketing department, with Greg Barber assuming the role of Vice President of Sales and Suzanne Farb joining as interim Vice President of Marketing.
“With Greg and Suzanne on board, this funding allows us to accelerate our go-to-market strategy while continuing to invest in our product platform,” said Liu. “We set ambitious growth and product development goals each year and 2016 is no different. As always, we will bet on ourselves and our consistent record of execution. It’s great to have capable people like Greg and Suzanne join us on this journey.”
Greg Barber is coming to Mappedin from his role as Vice President of the Consumer Channels Group at Microsoft Canada, capping a 23 year career there, a decade of which was served as a member of Microsoft’s executive team, which saw him accountable for more than 30% of regional revenue.
Suzanne Farb was most recently Head Merchant of Electronics and Entertainment for Target Canada, launching entertainment and electronic departments in more than 133 stores nationwide.
Those two prominent new hires to expand sales and marketing capacity are intended to fuel Mappedin’s international expansion throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.
While e-commerce is certainly making inroads in retail, tech optimists have to remember that physical shopping still accounts for more than 90% of U.S. retail activity.
Helping customers bridge the gap between physical and digital spaces is Mappedin’s killer app, providing a seamless shopping experience for consumers who increasingly regard mobile technology as complementary to real-world shopping.
Liu founded Mappedin in 2011, at the age of 20, after dropping out of the University of Waterloo’s Engineering program to join its Velocity accelerator program.
Liu and his fellow students, Mitchell Butler and Leander Lee, were famously challenged while still at Velocity by Kik Interactive co-founder Ted Livingston to “Stop being pussies,” and furthermore that if the team installed a functioning kiosk at Waterloo’s Conestoga mall in a year’s time, Livingston would personally write Mappedin a cheque for $5,000, which he did.
Mappedin’s platform is currently, or soon will be, in use at nine out of 10 of Canada’s largest malls, and is working with the four major premium mall owners in Canada, each of whom manages between dozens or hundreds of sites.