Saturday, May 18, 2024

MapAnything charts speedy growth with mapping services

Founder John Stewart has raised more than $80 million to fund MapAnything, mostly from out-of-state investors. The company has a goal of $100 million in revenue in 2022, he said at a February tech conference.

By David Ranii

Location, location, location” has long been the real-estate industry’s mantra. Now, that mentality is taking hold in technology, with the global “location of things” market forecasted to grow at a 34% annual clip to $71.6 billion by 2025. Charlotte-based MapAnything is emerging as one of the fast-growing startups riding the wave as the so-called “LOT” market is spurred on by the likes of Google Maps, Uber and Waze.

MapAnything’s software, which is accessible by both mobile devices and PCs, maximizes the efficiency of sales and service workers. “We have essentially taken the core building blocks of what companies like UPS, FedEx and DHL have been doing for years, and we have kind of democratized that, made it accessible for customers [who] don’t have logistics as their core business,” says Brian Bachofner, chief marketing officer. “And we have done it in such a way that it is easy to use.”

Founded in 2009, MapAnything shifted from software consulting to producing a subscription-based product with the 2012 launch of its flagship application. Since then, recurring revenue growth has averaged 70%-plus annually to “well north of $20 million,” says co-founder and CEO John Stewart, 44. The company is positioned for expansion after raising $42.5 million in a new financing in November, boosting its total funding to date to $82.9 million.

After surging with 65 net new hires in 2017, MapAnything has 161 employees, including 85 at its Charlotte headquarters. The company anticipates expanding its staff by 10% this year.

MapAnything’s software takes a company’s proprietary data and other relevant information and plots it on a map; tracks personnel in real time and provides an “audit trail” of miles traveled and stops made; and optimizes routing, scheduling and territory management. In December, the company acquired a small Virginia startup, TerrAlign Group Inc., for its advanced territory-design technology.

Raleigh business-software company Pendo, which has a 65-person sales force, uses MapAnything to plot sales territories and for individual account executives to plan their routes. Chas Scarantino, Pendo’s vice president of sales, calls MapAnything “best in breed and best in class.” He adds, “We would not be able to territory plan without it.”

The platform has other applications: A highway department in the United Kingdom uses it to make real-time updates to maintenance routes, then devises optimal new routes. Cardella Waste Services, a Bergen, N.J.-based waste-management company, uses MapAnything to track its 10,000-plus dumpsters and shift them efficiently to different construction sites.

MapAnything’s 2,000-plus business customers pay monthly subscriptions starting at $49 per user. It initially focused on smaller businesses, but with the new funding, its main push now is for larger enterprises. Users include Michelin Inc., Valvoline, Legg Mason and flooring giant Mohawk Industries. A key selling point: The software boosts sales reps’ interactions with customers by as much as 25%.

The vast majority of MapAnything’s revenue is tied to its partnership with San Francisco-based Inc., the world’s fourth-largest software company. MapAnything’s software is built on its technology platform, and Salesforce’s venture-capital arm has invested in the business. MapAnything’s software is sold on Salesforce’s AppExchange, which is akin to Apple’s App Store. Ninety-six percent of 600-plus AppExchange reviewers give MapAnything a five-star rating.

The Salesforce connection was crucial to Pendo’s decision to use MapAnything. “If it doesn’t integrate with Salesforce, it’s irrelevant to me,” Scarantino says. “That is our database of record.”

“By building on top of Salesforce’s platform,” Stewart says, “we get to take advantage of all the technical innovations that they make available to their partners” and can get products to market much faster. Without its connection to the software giant, MapAnything would have to boost its marketing dollars fivefold or more to achieve the same level of brand awareness, he says. The Charlotte company has signed up only a tiny fraction of Salesforce’s customer base, helping explain Stewart’s goal of $100 million in annual recurring revenue by 2022.

MapAnything’s “culture of innovation” puts it in an enviable position, says John Elton, a partner at New York-based venture-capital firm Greycroft Partners, which has invested in each of MapAnything’s funding rounds. The company’s key challenge moving forward, he says, is to avoid getting so comfortable with its success that it fails to adapt to a changing market.

Stewart co-founded the business in 2009 as Saber Business Solutions, a systems integrator that worked with Salesforce customers. A mechanical engineering graduate of Massachusetts’ Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he started a consulting firm and worked for software companies in the Atlanta area for several years before moving to Charlotte a year earlier to be closer to his wife’s family.

Saber initially developed its core MapAnything product at a client’s request, then watched as sales took off without any appreciable marketing. That convinced the company that it needed to shift gears. “I always feel like the marketplace tells you who you are,” Stewart says.

Today, MapAnything has every sign of being a company in the right place — or, in this context, the right location — at the right time.

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