Shanghai invests $30m in Lingtu

Gobi Partners is leading a group of investors in a $30m funding for Lingtu, a Chinese digitial mapping and location-based services firm.

Shanghai-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners is leading five other investors to provide $30 million in financing for an integrated digital mapping and location-based services (LBS) company in China.

Among the participating investors are multi-stage US venture capital firm Oak Investment Partners, Miven Venture Partners and Alliance Bernstein, a listed global asset management firm with approximately $635 million of assets under management, according to a statement.

“This power syndicate of investors will help Lingtu build upon its commanding market share in China,” Thomas Tsao, managing partner of Gobi said in the statement.

Gobi, which closed a China-focused fund last year on nearly $52 million, had been an early investor in Lingtu back in 2003, Tsao said in an interview with PEO.

“Lingtu has gone through a couple rounds of investments, and hopefully, the latest funding marks the pre-IPO round,” Tsao said.

According to Tang Ningzhe, Lingtu’s CEO, the company has maps of all of China’s 337 cities. He said the company was working towards completing the mapping of China’s countryside, its road network and points of interests and addresses.

The funding will also be used to expand Lingtu’s corporate client base in the automotive, logistics, transportation, telecom, utilities and government sectors, the statement noted.

The global digital mapping and LBS-related industries are estimated to reach more than $50 billion in revenues by 2008, and the Chinese digital mapping sector has the potential to be the world’s largest market, the statement added.