Ikea and ITV invest in what3words expansion
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
What3words map showing location in New York street The what3words app has divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each of which has a unique three-word code

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has invested £12m in virtual mapping solution what3words.

The investment by Ingka Group, the holding company behind Ikea, was followed by British television operator ITV investing £2m to acquire a minority stake in the company.

The what3words app functions by dividing the world into 57 trillion three-metre squares. Each of these squares is given a unique three-word identifier code, with the aim of simplifying the finding of street addresses and other locations. The technology is used by e-commerce and delivery firms, as well as emergency service control rooms.

“What3words has created an innovative solution to poor and inaccurate addressing, which is a problem in both developing and developed countries,” Ingka Investments said in a statement.

What3words said the investment would enable its growth of “a universal addressing system with a reduced carbon footprint” through further partnerships including in new countries.”

In the past six months, what3words has agreed new collaboration deals with APD Communications, Hitachi, Royal Mail, Addison Lee and emergency services in Australia, Switzerland and Germany.

Meanwhile, ITV’s investment is the first for its ‘Media for Equity’ scheme, which sees the broadcaster take minority stakes in early stage digital start-ups in exchange for advertising inventory.

Coronation Street's location on what3words is points.weds.timing

Kelly Williams, managing director of ITV Commercial, said: “This new equity scheme marks an opportunity for ITV to invest in and support entrepreneurial consumer-focused companies, whilst diversifying and expanding upon our existing clients and relationships to introduce emerging brands to TV advertising.”

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