The Hive Mind
A decentralized alternative to Google Maps
Robert L. Apr. 6, 2022
Decentralize it all
If you know about decentralization and new methods of mining then you would know of a company called Helium. Helium provides hotspots for users to gain access to a decentralized web network thus in turn providing a way for users to mine their native coin for being part of the network. The platform pays users in HNT it’s native currency for sharing their home Wi-fi signals by using the custom miners, this establishes access to the internet by creating an Internet of Things (IoT). Many users have found success with the network provided by Helium and another company is poised to use that same business model for a different type of hotspot- one in your vehicle.
Hivemapper is a decentralized digital mapping network and currently in a Series A funding round it has raised $18 million, why you ask? The answer is very simple: freedom. The digital mapping industry like most other industries is very centralized and controlled, dominated by giants like Google, TomTom,and Apple. Hivemapper sees that there is massive potential in creating a network that is decentralized and built by users and not companies.
The vision of the company has been brought to life by the completion of a Series A round of funding that brought $18 million to the company to help them finally realize this new potentially revolutionary system. As per each of these types of funding rounds some of the usual suspects were all present. Solana Ventures, Craft Ventures, Shine Capital, and 75& Sunny Ventures were all present with the round being led by Multicoin Capital.
The round was also joined by various angel investors which included Amir Haleem the CEO of Nova Labs which was formerly Helium Inc. the originator of the Helium hotspots, joined by Solana Labs co-founders Anatoly Yakavenko and Raj Gokal. The big names in funding didnt stop there with more investors joining in the funding round as well. The aforementioned were joined by Masterclass founder and CEO David Rogier, former Tinder CEO Elie Seidman, and Jaron Waldman who is a former executive of Apple Maps who by the way will now join Hivemappers board of directors.
Hivemapper’s current success in funding could definitely be attributed to the fact that the company itself is full of talent and backed by even more talent. The co-founder and CEO of Hivemapper Mr. Seidman was actually the director of product management on Yahoo Maps and speaks on how that platform lost to Google Maps due to the fact that Google’s wallet was far superior to that of Yahoo.
Seidmen noted that nobody could keep up with the constant updating of high-quality maps unless they had a budget the same as giants such as Google. He noted that it it didn’t sit well with him that only major companies could have the ability to do that.Earlier Seidmen founded Gigwalk which was supported by crowdsourced data as well but it did not provide the truly decentralized alternative he had hoped for so Hivemapper was created in 2015. The original idea for using drones was not sustainable or scalable, the payment system in use was also too centralized. It wasn’t until Seidmen met the co-founder of Helium-Amir Haleem, that things started to actually click and Seidmen shifted to the model that is being used now which involves the dashcams.
Go for a ride
The dashcams will start selling this July and will go for $449 . Users will automatically get rewarded with HONEY tokens for capturing footage when they drive. The possibility to create passive income while you do your everyday driving is very enticing, this may also create more income for ride-share drivers as well. The dashcam itself will make use of Helium’s network of nearly 700,000 nodes ( keep in mind this is a growing number). There will be certain “bounties” placed on areas that need to be mapped and users will be able to receive greater rewards after completing those, this gives more incentive to those that want to make more with their investment.
Hivemapper is community-built and thus there will undoubtedly be a plethora of uses for the platform ranging from logistics to gaming to turn-based navigation and beyond. The entire premise of Hivemapper is to provide an alternative to the tech giants and their centralized services. The CEO of Hivemapper stated taht the platform will develops mapping APIs that match the certain needs of various industries over time and work to meet those needs of customers that are currently locked into the Google Maps ecosystem.The company intends to use the Series A funds for growth of its mainnet , launch, and to build the hardware for market.
When speaking on the choice of blockchians Mr. Seildman concluded that the cost savings and transaction throughput of the Solana blockchain were again what eventually led him to choose Solana over the leading Ethereum network, which has yet to overcome its scaling issues. Solana continues to be the choice of many projects due to its various pro-developer traits.
Currently the there are contributors building maps in at least nine areas with Los Angeles being among them. There are currently hundreds of LA drivers updating the Hivemapper network with mapping information with 30% of the area on a monthly basis. If you are a ride-share driver or just love to be on the open road, this may definitely be a platform to look into