TripAdvisor acquires social mapping platform Citymaps

Steven Loeb · August 25, 2016 · Short URL:

Citymaps, which let users create and share their own travel maps, will remain a standalone business

Updated with comment from TripAdvisor

When I go traveling, I don't want to just go the same things everyone else does. Yeah, you go to Paris and you're going to see the Eiffel Tower, but that doesn't really give you the flavor of the place. I don't want to just see the touristy stuff. I want to find the weird museums, and random statues littered around the city. That's why I like to find the cool stuff that people who either live there, or visited, have discovered. 

Social mapping platform Citymaps is a destination for people to create their own unique maps of places they've been to. It's not for getting around, but for showing interesting stuff to do.

On Wednesday it was announced that the company has been acquired by Travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it was revealed that Citymaps will continue to be run as a standalone business. All current employees will continue to work at the company. 

"Citymaps will be one of more than a dozen brands that operate within the TripAdvisor Media Group unit.  They’re going to continue to be focused on building a great map experience for travelers and we’re going to be focused on how we expose that to as many travelers as possible," Adam Medros, SVP, Global Product, TripAdvisor, told me.

The New York City-based Citymaps allows tourists to create ther own curated maps to help others find points of interest, navigate urban destinations and share their favorite locations.

"With Citymaps, you’ll discover maps made by people like you, sharing uncharted boutiques, art galleries, forgotten museums, jazz bars, urban swimming pools, wild roller coasters, hidden beaches, new restaurants, and secret spots in faraway places. Consider these map collections as beginnings for your journeys, for you to make your own endings," the company says on its webite

TripAdvisor will be incorporating Citymap's technology, and it will become one of the company's mapping solutions it utilizes within its user experience.  

"What is so great about their technology is how they integrate the tourism experience into mapping. As location-aware technology on the TripAdvisor app, for example, becomes a more important way for consumers to find relevant things to do nearby, Citymaps' solutions becomes all the more important," said Medros.

"As we digitize more attractions, for example, and make them bookable through TripAdvisor, Citymaps' technology becomes all the more important as location is one of the purest forms of relevancy to consumers.  And we want to help travelers find and book interesting things to do near their physical location while traveling!"

This is TripAdvisor’s second acquisition of the year. In April, the company acquired holiday rental marketplace HouseTrip.

Founded in 2010, Citymaps had raised $12 million in venture funding from investors that included Acadia Woods Partners, A-Grade Investments, Coatue Management and Nokia Growth Partners.

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