Category Archives: Companies

My next ride: Uber


Uber logoThe news from here is that I am starting something new. I am psyched to be joining Uber, working  in Business Development/Partnerships, focused on creating and managing partnerships with geospatial content & technology suppliers worldwide.

Uber has a vision for changing the way people move around. At the core of that vision is a clear understanding of location and place; of understanding where things are and how to optimize the logistics of transportation.  And that means maps and geospatial data.  Uber’s focus on maps and geospatial analysis to solve these problems is a huge part of what attracted me to the company and the position.  I’m looking forward to working with the team there.

This means that I’ll be shutting down Prioleau Advisors.  I’ve been doing this for six years…about five years and six months longer than I thought when I started.  I started in 2009 when location was just starting to have an impact on mobile applications. It  has been a great experience, giving me the chance to look at many aspects of the broader location business.  The technology has evolved and as it has, so have the businesses and opportunities. That’s made it a great place to focus. More importantly, I’ve had a chance to talk to, meet with and work for many of the extraordinary people who make up this business.  To those who have supported me in the past six years, a heartfelt thanks.  The experience exceeded my expectations.

The great thing about this is that it isn’t a goodbye.  In my new role, I’ll continue to be deeply involved in the geo world, albeit from a different angle.  This’ll be fun.



Can HERE really support Non-Automotive LBS?

HERE-MapsToday the sales of Nokia’s HERE division was officially announced ending a long running debate over who would buy them.  The sale has been well covered by other folks.  I’d recommend GPS Business News, Dominique Bonte of ABI and the official press release but I am sure I am missing some other insightful commentary.

There are a number of interesting details that have come out in the news. I’ve written on some of them in the past. The one I am still trying to wrap my head around is how HERE will continue to support the non-automotive mapping applications. I don’t think they can do both HD Auto maps and maintain their position in non-automotive markets.

Continue reading Can HERE really support Non-Automotive LBS?

Timing. Why the Mapbox raise is important now.

SatelliteMapbox announced today that they’ve just raised $52.55 million in a Series B round. That gives the company the fuel to continue building out their platform. The investors come with great backgrounds to feed into the growth of the company. But I want to talk about timing.

This round comes at craziest time I have ever seen in the mapping sector, in fact the whole location sector. Every day new bidders surface for Nokia HERE. The investor boards on TomTom are burning up with a knock-on effect. All of this puts a lot of focus on OpenStreetMap, and a lot of focus now on Mapbox, a huge supporter of OSM and user of OSM data.
Continue reading Timing. Why the Mapbox raise is important now.

Why Uber bought deCarta


Big news for the day in the geo-world:  Uber bought deCarta, the long-time LBS platform company that at times powered the likes of Google, Yahoo!, NIM, TeleNav, TomTom and many more.   In their statement, Uber states that they “will continue to fine-tune our products and services that rely on maps — for example UberPOOL, the way we compute ETAs [estimated times of arrival], and others — and make the Uber experience even better for our users.”  This is also the first announced acquisition by Uber.  Terms were not announced but it is suspected that Uber’s war chest of $5.9B raised remains largely intact.

(Disclaimer:  I worked at deCarta six years ago and am a shareholder under non-disclosure.  Sorry, no secrets here.) Continue reading Why Uber bought deCarta

IFTTT has a better geo strategy than Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.12.51 PMI just added a new recipe on IFTTT that sends me a message whenever someone sends a tweet within a specified radius.  They bill it as a neighborhood tweet watch but it could obviously be used to watch for tweets within any area or place.  Right now it used a simple point-and-radius geofence but presumably that could be extended into any sort of bounding box.

I mentioned that I’d added this and got a number of responses including a comment fromScreen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.23.38 PM Arjun Ram that suggested that IFTTT’s geo strategy is better than Twitter’s.  It raises the question of whether Twitter does in fact have a geo strategy and why they’ve been so slow in doing anything in that area.   Continue reading IFTTT has a better geo strategy than Twitter