Nokia acquires social mapping startup Plazes



Nokia acquires social mapping startup Plazes
Nokia today announced the acquisition of Berlin-based social mapping start-up Plazes, for an undisclosed amount. Plazes was first open to the public in August 2004 and officially founded in December 2005. In 2006 the company raised seed financing from business angels such as Esther Dyson, Marc Andreessen and Martin Varsavsky. Plazes secured a first institutional equity round of financing (€2.7m) from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures in February 2007. Plazes has 13 employees today and its revenue, generated by SMS and advertising, is not public knowledge.

Plazes adds the elements of location to social networking through features that allow people to update their online presence with their current, past and future whereabouts; review their own and others' past activities; share their experiences and make plans with friends, who are then able to respond with comments and suggestions as well as their own location information. Members of Plazes are able to update their location through their laptop or mobile phone.

Plazes' CEO Felix Petersen (source: Plazes)
Plazes' CEO Felix Petersen (source: Plazes)
Nokia's link
Plazes had a connection with Nokia through one of its advisor, Christophe F. Maire who was one of the founder of Gate5 and its CFO - bought by Nokia in August 2006 to create Nokia Maps. As a matter of fact both teams are based in Berlin and Plazes will move with the Nokia Maps people once the acquisition is finalized, which should happen by the end of this quarter said Nokia.

By acquiring Plazes, Nokia Nokia gets the third element of the LBS triptych business case: local search-navigation-social networking, an important part of its service/web strategy under the Ovi brand. "This acquisition helps Nokia to accelerate its vision of bringing people and places closer together, in line with our broader services strategy," said Niklas Savander, Head of Nokia Services & Software.

Read here our interview with Plazes’ CEO Felix Petersen (May 2007)


Monday, June 23rd 2008


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