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China’s Tencent invests in Scottish indoor mapping company

Thu 13 Aug 2015

Chinese web giant Tencent has completed an undisclosed amount of strategic investment in Scottish indoor mapping firm sensewhere.

The Edinburgh-based company, founded by university researchers in 2005, provides hyper-local and positioning services supporting location-based solutions for mobile applications. sensewhere received funding from the Scottish Enterprise Smart:Scotland scheme in 2012, and has since raised undisclosed finance from existing investors.

“This investment by Tencent will be significant for the company and is an endorsement of our technology, strategy and ability to deliver low cost, highly scalable and highly accurate universal indoor positioning,” said sensewhere CEO Rob Palfreyman.

“I am thrilled with the collaboration, and having Tencent as a strategic investor will help take sensewhere to the next level and assist us growing our customer base, building new Location Based Services and investing further in R&D,” Palfreyman added.

Tencent did not reveal any financial details, but it did confirm that its partnership with sensewhere will involve the incorporation of the Scottish software in its own GPS and mapping systems, as well as other mobile platforms including advertising and wearable devices.

Tencent Mobile Internet Group VP Julian Ma commented in a statement: “We believe that a superior, universal indoor positioning technology will deeply influence how people interact with each other, and significantly change how companies communicate with consumers and conduct commerce indoor across online and offline platforms.”

“sensewhere’s unique, highly scalable approach will greatly enhance Tencent Map’s indoor positioning capabilities and enable our users to navigate indoor in a much more accurate and convenient manner,” he continued.

In June sensewhere had been granted key patents for its technology that it develops in both the U.S. and China – progress which undoubtedly ushered the final signing of the deal.

The new Chinese-Scottish partnership mirrors a similar pairing between Baidu and Finnish indoor mapping startup IndoorAtlas, which was finalised last September.


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