Map is critical for traveling. There are number of map apps available, but people often hesitate using them because they take lots of data.
Tackling the issue, Dabeeo, a Korean startup, launched BEE MAP mobile application. BEE MAP shows the landmarks of the area and offer navigation service. It also shows the top 100 restaurants, hot shopping areas, and travel spots. In addition, BEE MAP is highly customizable depending on the user’s preferences. What make BEE MAP most attracting is that the service is available offline. Data service costs more overseas, and offline map service is appealing to travelers. Currently, BEE MAP service is available in Seoul, Busan, and London. By the end of this year, BEE MAP plans to expand its service to other major cities including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka, Guam, and Paris. BEE MAP is currently available only on iOS, but it plans to launch Android version soon.
Dabeeo’s competitive advantage is its mapping technology. Typically, startups pay loyalties to for using Google Map, should the startup wants to incorporate Google Map to its mobile app. However, the loyalties for using Google Map is very expensive. For the first 100 million views, Google requires $12,000, and the price rises for every additional user. Thus, for any mapping-related startups, Google map loyalties take the significant portion of the operational cost.
Realizing the issue, Dabeeo developed its own mapping technologies. Dabeeo has been investing 70%-80% of its revenue in mapping technology. As a result, Dabeeo was able to save costs and invest more in developing the BEE MAP mobile app.
Dabeeo is getting recognized in the market as well. It got its first place at Tourism Startup Competition in 2012 and was selected as the Global Startup of 2013 by Korea Tourism Organization. Recently, a research company valued Debeeo at $7.1 billion. According to an insider, there are number of investors contacting Dabeeo as well.
Joo Heum Park, the CEO of Dabeeo commented that he “hopes to help those who travel Korea and contribute in strengthening Korea’s tourism power” and that Dabeeo will continue to improve its service.
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