- Maps.me has raised $50 Million in a funding round.
- The cornerstone of Maps.me 2.0 is MAPS, a governance and utility token binding 140 million users.
- Maps.me 2.0 will have a wallet to store tokens and earn yields.
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Maps.me, an offline mapping application with over 140 million users worldwide, has raised $50 million in a funding round led by Alameda Research, a Hong Kong-based investment firm and liquidity provider. Genesis Capital and CMS Holdings also participated in the round.
According to a press release shared with Decrypt, Maps.Me 2.0 comes with a multi-currency wallet that will combine direct hotel bookings and location services with decentralized finance (DeFi) tools.
Those include a possibility to store value and earn yields of up to eight percent, exchange funds with no hidden fees, send money and spend in multiple currencies for cross-border travel. Another option included is cashback on transactions.
The company says its new app will not only combat high foreign exchange fees and commissions charged by banks and third-party travel booking platforms, but broaden access to finance in general.
“By embedding and democratizing access to yield-earning finance to millions of users via an everyday app, Maps.me has the potential to really propel DeFi mainstream adoption and bring a groundbreaking technology to the masses," commented Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of Alameda Research.
But it’s not only travelers who can possibly benefit from Maps.me 2.0. Travel and local businesses will be able to receive payments without third-party platforms while reaching the most relevant clients based on their demographics, location and interest.
"We’re excited to be working with our partners to create a DeFi ecosystem on a platform that has already achieved scale in terms of its number of users, and which will expand services that are closely linked to financial needs,” said Alex Grebnev, co-founder of Maps.Me.
According to Maps.me representatives, the platform is particularly popular with millennial Europeans, with over 58% of users coming from the continent and over 70% being between the ages of 18-40. In 2019 an average millennial spent $4,400 for travel-related expenses.
Update: Maps.me has decided the fund round is not a seed round as previously reported but "an investment into the embedded DeFi ecosystem." We have updated the article to reflect this.