Hyperlocal solutions provider NextBillion.ai has raised an additional $6.25 Mn, as a part of its extended Series A funding round from Microsoft’s venture fund called M12. With this, the company has raised about $13.5 Mn in Series A, with $7 Mn coming in from Lightspeed and Falcon Edge Capital in June 2020.
NextBillion.ai will be using the latest funding to get greater access to North America and other global markets. “The access provided by M12 will assist us in building a decentralised, tailored, and cost-effective mapping platform that delivers the highest level of performance and quality for even our most demanding enterprise customers,” Ajay Bulusu, cofounder of NextBillion.ai, said.
Founded in 2020 by Ajay Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng, who were previously working with Southeast Asian ride-hailing unicorn Grab, NextBillion.ai offers tailored spatial solutions and tools for a wide range of use cases and helps clients scale and manage their own spatial data ecosystem. The company’s solutions are used across diverse industries including ride hailing, food delivery, big tech and logistics industries.
Previously, Bulusu had highlighted that the mapping is the first use case with the proprietary technology and the company will get into more verticals like natural language processing, facial recognition and cybersecurity soon. The company claims to have 15 customers across 20 countries, helping them map over 2.5 Mn miles of road. Last year, the company was running a pilot with 20 customers across industries and segments — social media, ride-hailing, food delivery, freight and logistics.
“Enterprise location-based solutions are long overdue for disruption—we’re no longer in a scenario where one-size-fits-all. Globally, companies spend over $6.7 billion a year on their mapping stack, and this spend is growing faster than ever. NexBillion.ai is leading the disruption of geospatial data with great customer traction and a world class team,” Abhi Kumar, partner at M12, said.
AI is particularly useful in hyperlocal context for lead generations, personalisation, curation and customisation of the services. According to the Forrester Research report, there was an expected 300% increase in investments in AI in 2017 alone as companies were looking to maximise their conversion rates and improve efficiency.
Another report, published pre-pandemic, stated that the Indian hyperlocal market was expected to reach $344 Mn by 2020. Nonetheless, the Covid-19 pandemic has given a further boost to hyperlocal services as people fear stepping out of their house. As of October 2019, late-stage investments into hyperlocal startups make up for 79.59% of the total funding in the consumer services segment, as per DataLabs by Inc42+ estimates.