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Rakesh Verma, his wife founded MapMyIndia worth $586M after IPO

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Rakesh Verma and his wife once charted India’s cities on foot. The couple founded MapMyIndia which is worth $586M, with almost 54% of the company after its IPO.

When Rakesh, 71, and Rashmi Verma, 65, decided to build digital maps of India more than two decades ago, they were literally walking new ground.

Long before Google transformed web cartography, the Vermas walked through India’s megacities, meticulously recording streets and landmarks.

However, the monumental work of developing their startup, MapmyIndia, paid off on Tuesday.

Vermas’ startup was a smashing success in its trading debut following its initial public offering.

The stock increased by roughly 35% and brought the couple’s net worth to around $586 million.

It was an appropriately daring start for a company that offers digital maps and topographical data covering India’s difficult geography.

MapmyIndia, formerly known as C.E. Info Systems Ltd., made a successful market debut, capping off a string of recent highs

Among others who have purchased the company’s software are Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

The husband-and-wife combination are the latest entrepreneurs to strike gold during this year’s stock market boom, owning nearly 54 percent of the company after the IPO.

MapmyIndia has led the spike in India’s new fundraisings. For the previous fiscal year, the company recorded a 31 percent profit margin on revenue of 1.92 billion rupees ($25 million) and a net profit of 594.3 million rupees.

After graduating from India’s top engineering colleges in the late 1970s, the Vermas moved to the United States to pursue graduate degrees and establish successful business careers.

Rakesh rose through the ranks of General Motors Co. Rashmi worked at International Business Machines Corp., where she created computer databases.

When the pair returned to India, they discovered a market gap in digital mapping, which had begun to gain traction in the developed world.

Rashmi explained that at the time, databases were tabular, and data was measured in megabytes. She also said there was no internet when C.E. Info Systems was formed in February 1995.

According to the pair, the first three years of mapping India were a nightmare.  As technology advanced, triangulating data assisted in capturing far-flung regions of the country.

Coca-Cola Co. engaged the Vermas to map its distributorships, which for many years had been delineated by ambiguous markers such as “by a river” or “next to a highway.” Motorola, Ericsson AB, and Qualcomm Inc. quickly followed suit, hiring the company to map terrains and identify cell towers.

Rakesh and Rashmi launched India’s first interactive maps portal in 2004. We have mapped 99.99 percent of India, including every city, town, hamlet, and settlement.

Google Maps leads the consumer part of the market globally, with over one billion users, vastly outnumbering its competitors. MapmyIndia, on the other hand, has thrived by selling licences to the world’s largest automakers, including BMW AG and Daimler AG’s Mercedes Benz, as well as prominent global brands like McDonald’s Corp.

Many of Vermas’ clients are also local startups, such as Ola and Paytm. After the Indian government revised guidelines this year regarding the collection of mapping and geographic data, becoming public was an obvious next step The new regulations require international corporations to buy data directly from Indian-owned enterprises, giving MapmyIndia another barrier to grab the local market and convert would-be competitors like Apple Maps, which uses the startup’s software, into customers.

The corporation claims to have a 95 percent market dominance in GPS navigation in India. The Vermas intend to expand with the capital injection after incorporating maps for more than 200 nations into their software platform.

However, the couple stated that Tuesday’s achievement will have no impact on their way of life. They have no intentions to leave their house in a lush Delhi suburb.

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