Mobile

CloudMade accelerates its location platform by buying OneStepAhead

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CloudMade, a company that provides mapping data to 16,200 application developers, just announced that it has acquired German startup OneStepAhead.

I last spoke to CloudMade chief executive Juha Christensen when the company raised its second round of funding in July. At the time, he acknowledged that there are competitors (such as SimpleGeo) offering tools to create location apps, but he said CloudMade offers more than detailed data to power “hundreds of thousands of apps in different verticals.”

Yesterday, Christensen told me OneStepAhead’s technology advances that goal by managing the way mapping data is downloaded onto phones. That means CloudMade developers will be able to build apps where more of the data is stored on phones, so users can access maps when they’re offline. They’ll also use less mobile data since they’re not downloading maps again and again. OneStepAhead (which was self-funded) is based in Stuttgart, Germany, so that gives CloudMade an office near the German auto industry, which Christensen said has created a big market for location apps in that country.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based CloudMade has raised $15.7 million from Greylock Partners and Sunstone Capital. Its cofounder Steve Coast also cofounded the community mapping project OpenStreetMap, and CloudMade draws its data from its project. You can see some of the apps built on its platform at this website.