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Tech Startup: MapVida makes a B2B play with geographic data

The 10-employee Denver company strives to be "Local. Always"


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MAPVIDA

‚ÄčWHERE: Denver 
FOUNDED: 2015

INITIAL LIGHTBULB:

Co-founders Mike Mauseth and Steve Roe worked together at multinational credit information giant, TransUnion before striking out on their own with MapVida. 

They aimed to develop technology that could identify comparable neighborhoods in different cities. The goal, Roe says, was "to make it objective rather than subjective."

The pair built a beta covering Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle and Washington, D.C., with public and paid data on everything from tree counts and demographics to crime and home ownership rates.

"Because our background is in Big Data, we had a lot of contacts for good data," Mauseth says. "We leveraged those relationships."

The initial plan was consumer-facing, but the pair pivoted to a B2B play. The 10-employee company now provides front- and back-end solutions to clients in real estate and other industries.

IN A NUTSHELL:

Using cloud- and API-based technology, MapVida users can compare neighborhoods in cities across the U.S. Users can search for comparable areas based on data covering seven different dimensions, including housing, safety and schools.

Building scale was critical to launch. After the four-city beta in 2015, MapVida did just that. 

"We now cover 100 metropolitan statistical areas," Mauseth says. "In a couple months, we'll be at 150."

That encompasses about 5,000 municipalities. 

MapVida drills into areas on a much smaller scale than typical metrics.

"A zip code covers two or three different neighborhoods," Mauseth says. "That's why our tagline is: 'Local. Always.'"

Denver-based Rentbits, a provider of online solutions for property management companies and other real estate firms, is a client. The company is integrating MapVida's tools into renter-facing offerings and using them to advise on development decisions.

"I think that it will be a really good user experience," Rentbits CEO Dan Daugherty says. "They've just taken a very unique approach to leveraging data specific to localization for real estate."

MapVida offers pricing plans based on the number of users and the use, as well as free consumer-facing app.

"At the end of the day, we're trying to help people make better, data-driven decisions," Mauseth says.

THE MARKET:

The real estate industry is MapVida's primary initial focus. "We've got some brokerages that are going to snap these on to their listings," Mauseth says. 

Property management companies are another target, and developers are using MapVida's tools for site selection.

There aren't plans to expand into more U.S. markets, but Roe says international markets are on the agenda. "Big cities in Europe and Canada are next."

But MapVida's prospects are not limited to real estate. Mauseth says numerous companies in unexpected verticals have expressed interest in MapVida's tools. Political consultants and marketing and advertising agencies have emerged as unexpected prospects. But markets and travel businesses like AirBnb are on the company's radar.

FINANCING:

After Mauseth and Roe self-financed the startup, an undisclosed partner staked the company with much-needed capital at the end of 2015. "The first company we talked to funded our whole round," Mauseth says.

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Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

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