The Power of Crowdsourced Maps is Set to Help Fuel Mail.Ru’s Global Expansion Strategy
Moscow - November 13, 2014 - Mail.Ru Group Limited (LSE: MAIL), one of the largest Internet companies in Europe, today announced the acquisition of MAPS.ME, a mobile maps and navigation service based on OpenStreetMap data that allows users to access maps both online and offline. The acquisition will enable My.com, Mail.Ru Group’s subsidiary focused on global audiences, to offer additional products and services to a growing base of users. Employing OpenStreetMap makes data collection free, and increases reliability as users upload new maps in real time. Additionally, the MAPS.ME architecture allows for scalability without increasing development costs.
MAPS.ME apps for iOS and Android allow users to download detailed maps for any location around the world and use them even when offline. The service pulls data provided by OpenStreetMap, the open source project dedicated to create a crowdsourced, highly detailed world map. Thanks to an advanced data compression algorithm, MAPS.ME works fast and the maps are lightweight. Over 7M users have downloaded MAPS.ME since its release in 2011. The apps are actively used all over the world including Russia (18% of users), the USA (13%), Germany (7%), Italy (4%) and China (4%). MAPS.ME is one of the top rated apps in the Travel category in more than 100 countries.
OpenStreetMap is created and updated by editors, just like Wikipedia articles: users all over the globe can edit maps, adding cities, roads and locations. This crowdsourced model allows for the most detailed and current map of the world. For instance, new buildings and roads can be added in real time, and the editors can add not just streets, but also paths. The maps are constantly updated by the global community of enthusiasts that has grown exponentially to 1.8 million members.
“Adding the MAPS.ME team to work together on our global expansion was a strategic move,” said Dmitry Grishin, Co-Founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group. “OpenStreetMap has a remarkable idea of crowdsourced maps behind it, and we believe that its role all over the world is going to increase.”
“Mail.Ru Group is a natural fit for MAPS.ME. They completely share our vision of open data and its role in the development of innovative technology,” said Yury Melnichek, Co-Founder and CEO of MAPS.ME. “Further, the millions of Mail.Ru and My.com users around the globe will now have direct access to our product, allowing for more contributors, and ultimately, a better user experience.”
The MAPS.ME team (including the founders) will join Mail.Ru Group where the team will continue to work on MAPS.ME, which includes implementing some developments that have already been planned and are to be announced later.
Mail.Ru Group (LSE:MAIL, listed since November 5, 2010) is a leading Internet company in the high-growth Russian-speaking Internet markets (Russia is Europe's largest Internet market measured by the number of users, comScore). Mail.Ru Group's sites reach approximately 96% of Russian Internet users on a monthly basis (comScore, September 2014) and the Company is the sixth largest Internet business globally, based on the total time spent (comScore, September 2014).
In line with the "communitainment" (communication plus entertainment) strategy, the Company is moving rapidly to build an integrated communications and entertainment platform. The Company owns Russia’s leading email service and one of Russia’s largest internet portals, Mail.Ru. The Company operates all three of the Russian language social networks, Vkontakte (VK), Odnoklassniki (OK) and Moi Mir (My World), and Russia’s largest online games business. The Company’s portfolio also includes Mail.Ru Agent and ICQ – two instant messaging services popular in Russia and CIS.
The Company holds an equity stake in Qiwi (1.31%). The Company also holds a number of small venture capital investments in various Internet companies in Russia, Ukraine and Israel. In November 2013, The Company launched My.com in the US and later globally to provide communication and entertainment products and services in non-Russian speaking countries.
My.com is a subsidiary of Mail.Ru Group, the largest Internet company in Russian-speaking countries with an audience of more than 100 million users (comScore, September 2013), that is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:MAIL, listed since November 5, 2010). My.com's vision is to build an integrated communication and entertainment platform, dubbed 'Communitainment,' beginning with a family of mobile apps and games, and most recently, expanding to PC games bringing immersive, massively multiplayer online experiences to the masses.
MAPS.ME provides apps for iOS and Android offering detailed offline maps for mobile devices based on OpenStreetMap data. The first version of MAPS.ME was released in 2011, and since then the apps have seen over 7M installs. MAPS.ME is one of the top rated apps in the Travel category in more than 100 countries.