Apple just paid between $25 and $30 million for a startup that makes maps out of your location data

Apple just acquired the small 12-person company Mapsense for between $US25 and $US30 million, according to a new report from Re/code’s Mark Bergen and Dawn Chmielewski.

Mapsense, which was founded in 2013, builds tools for analysing, visualising, and understanding location data gathered from mobile devices.

Its platform allows businesses to upload location data so they can analyse it to learn more about their customers and how they’re using their products.

Shopping app Curbside, for instance, posted a testimonial on Mapsense’s website that describes how useful the company’s service has been for making sense of all the location data its app gathers.

The news comes just after Mapsense raised $US2.5 million in a seed round led by General Catalyst back in May.

It’s unclear what Apple’s plans are for Mapsense, but it seems to be a sign that Apple is pushing heavier into the location and mapping services space, where Google is one of its biggest competitors. Apple also bought the once-popular navigation app HopStop back in 2013.

Although Apple hasn’t publicly confirmed the acquisition, it’s not entirely surprising. Your iPhone collects a ton of information about your whereabouts on a daily basis. It seems plausible that Apple would want to find ways to improve its services by analysing that data more closely.

Apple has not immediately responded to Business Insider’s request for comment, but it gave Re/code the response it typically issues when it buys a company: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

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