John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

U.K. Map Firm Locates Microsoft Acquisition Fund

“The secret of success is: Start 12 years ago.” That’s how Multimap Founder and Chief Executive Sean Phelan once described the digital-mapping business. And he’s probably right. Of course, there’s another secret to success as well: acquire a business that started 12 years ago.

Which is what Microsoft did today when it purchased Multimap for a reported $50 million. “The addition of Multimap enhances Microsoft’s position as a leading provider of mapping and location platform services,” Sharon Baylay, general manager of Microsoft’s Online Services Group, said in a statement. “This acquisition will play a significant role in the future growth of our search business and presents a huge opportunity to expand our platform business beyond the U.K. and globally.”

Leading provider of mapping and location platform services? That’s a bit of a stretch. According to Nielsen Online, Microsoft’s Windows Live Maps service had 7.1 million unique users worldwide during October. By comparison, Google Maps had 71.5 million unique users, its Earth service 22.7 million. Clearly, Microsoft is in a losing battle against Google in the mapping space, though this acquisition will give it a powerful weapon with which to fight.