When we started NextBillion.ai in 2020, we had set out to build an enterprise mapping platform for the next billion users. But we broadened our ambitions when we realized that bad and rigid maps affect ‘all billion’ users — irrespective of whether they enable movement or rely on it.
In 2021, we further strengthened our foothold in the geospatial data space, as we rolled out new product features, expanded our customer base, grew our team across geographies and bagged multiple awards.
Here’s a quick walk down memory lane.
The vision that resonated with everyone
We live in a location-first world where maps form the building blocks of many businesses such as on-demand delivery, logistics, ride-hailing, last-mile logistics and hyperlocal businesses. Traditional players’ mapping solutions used by these businesses often come with a set of limitations in terms of cost, flexibility and accuracy, which impacts their bottom line.
NextBillion.ai’s vision was and is to address these fundamental issues with our decentralized and customizable mapping solutions. And this resonated with everyone — be it our customers, investors, advisors or the geospatial community.
We continued to help companies across the globe build their own custom map stack tailored to their needs. We enabled businesses to leverage their proprietary location data. Our AI-powered scalable APIs helped to optimize routes and navigation efficiently. And our map data management services allowed companies to tackle modern mobility challenges.
Customer success milestones achieved
In 2021, we registered 10x growth in customer base and 5x growth in revenue, spread across 5 continents and 20+ countries, including the US, Australia, India, Dubai, Singapore, Estonia and Indonesia. Our custom map data solutions support 150+ countries.
Within a period of 20 months, we have processed over 50B+ API calls, a whopping 50x increase from where we started. We have mapped 300+ gated communities and managed 1.4M+ restrictions.
All these numbers reaffirm our purpose in why we do what we do, i.e, — build better maps.
High product performance delivered
Product innovation and enhancement is a continual process at NextBillion.ai. 2021 was no exception.
Here are the key highlights:
Our Distance Matrix and Directions API delivered 10x higher performance and helped our customers effectively save 2.5x on API spends compared to other solutions.
Growth in APIs’ requests
We introduced the ability to support local regulations and custom routing preferences to raise the efficiency of routes. Customers were able to get traffic restrictions reflected in real-time in their APIs.
Our custom routing API for electric scooters with Snap-to-Road feature went live this year. The API is extensible to other micro-mobility devices and use-cases like bicycles, pedestrians and any other custom vehicle types.
Custom routing for e-scooters
Through consistent investments, we were able to provide 3x-7x lower latency, support up to 20x higher throughput and handle 5000×5000 matrix sizes than other APIs. This enabled use-cases that need massive API scalability.
We launched two new map tools — Mergical and Road Restriction — that allowed us to maintain custom map layers for our customers and automate 90% of conflict resolution.
Mergical mapping tool
With our technology partners, we solved last-mile delivery challenges for our grocery and delivery customers. Be it offering support for mixed fleets with different vehicle routing profiles or optimizing order pick-up/drop-offs, we delivered high-performance solutions for very complex route optimization use-cases.
Built thought leadership presence with meaningful engagement
The year 2021 marked the start of our thought leadership webinar series — Spatial Insider. This year we hosted insightful discussions with Naveen Veeravalli, Engineering Leader at Uber and J. Kim Fennell, former CEO of deCarta and Uber Maps Business Leader.
Spatial Insider webinar with Uber
We also partnered with Reuters to host a webinar on ‘Reducing Costs & Increasing Sustainability in Last-Mile Operations’ — that featured industry leaders from IKEA, Geodis and Santa Monica Seafood. You can watch these webinars here.
As the world began to open up, this year turned out to be a busy one for our team who attended a wide selection of virtual and in-person events. We networked, met industry disruptors, led panel discussions, participated in forums and collaborated with potential partners & prospects at various events.
NextBillion.ai team at Move London 2021
Generated investor interest
One of the biggest highlights of 2021 was entering our next phase of growth with M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. Besides the $6.25 million funding, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with a reliable global partner and mentor.
We would also like to take this moment to express our gratitude to our investors — Lightspeed Venture and Falcon Edge and advisors for believing in us and enabling us to put our vision into action.
Forged strong partnerships
We consciously narrowed down our focus on technical integrations and partnerships this year.
We announced our strategic collaboration with the technology platform Locus. This alliance integrates Locus’ supply chain expertise with NextBillion.ai’s industry-leading location tech offerings.
Another huge validation for us was getting IMDA’s (Infocomm Media Development Authority) SG:D (Singapore Digital) Spark accreditation. This strengthened our positioning as a key mapping player and enabled us to grow in the global market.
The awards we received this year supplied bursts of validation and reassured us that we are solving the right problem. It was a source of pride for the entire NextBillion.ai team.
The year ahead
In 2022, things will get bigger and better at NextBillion.ai.
Building a self-sustaining location ecosystem for every enterprise and enabling a range of innovative use-cases for unserved demands remain our top priorities. We will continue to expand our global presence by scaling up our team and partner network across geographies.
In the upcoming year, keep an eye out for product updates related to our Geocoding API and Navigation SDK. We also have an incredible line-up for our Spatial Insider webinar series. More interesting projects with category leaders across fleet management, ecommerce, trucking, logistics, food delivery and grocery are already in the pipeline.
The best is yet to come — stay tuned for our product updates, exciting news and much more!