The founders behind what3words see the world in 10ft squares.
That precision focus has some practical applications for individuals, whether someone is trying to locate a friend outside of a crowded sporting venue or determining the exact dropoff location for a rideshare. But as what3words expands its presence across the globe, the London-based team sees both business and public safety applications for their “square” view of the world.
Each 10ft square is given a random three-word combination on what3words’ app that can be easily shared and provides more context than a traditional address. The goal, as stated on the website, is to help people ‘never get lost again.’
For Atlanta sports fans, ///spaceman.openly.revival will take you to the Braves First Base gate at Truist Park and ///guitars.popping.wallet will get you to the Techwood entrance for Bobby Dodd Stadium.
It’s also been adopted by 9-1-1 centers and is used by people, businesses, and organizations in over 170 countries each day to communicate location-specific information. “Millions of people around the world use what3words to make life safer, more efficient, and less frustrating. Businesses use what3words to improve efficiencies and customer experience– from e-commerce and logistics companies to travel, ride-hailing and navigation apps,” Ashley Marie Cashion, USA Partnerships Director, told Hypepotamus.
The idea formed in the UK in 2013 when co-founder Chris Sheldrick wanted to find a better solution for getting bands and equipment to the right spots at live music events. Sheldrick ultimately teamed up with co-founders Mohan Ganesalingam and Jack Waley-Cohen to grow the idea.
The next stop on their map: Atlanta. Cashion has moved to the city to lead US partnerships efforts out of the South.
The expansion into Atlanta is strategic for the location-focused company.
“As a rapidly growing tech hub, and home to the busiest airport in the world along with a number of our key potential partners – Atlanta has always represented a huge opportunity for us,” said Cashion. “ With a time zone that works well with our London HQ and proximity to key US business and Government hubs, it made sense to set up our US office here. On a more personal note, Atlanta is the ideal place to raise my two-year-old child – close to family, with an endless list of things to explore.”
Cashion even set up a list of local places she loves for those looking to give what3words a try. Check it out on a mobile phone here).
Despite being relatively new in the States, businesses and organizations across the Southeast have started using what3words. 9-1-1 ECCs (emergency call centers) across the Southeast have used the technology, leading to life-saving rescues in Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, and others.
Cashion said that the startup has seen a 250% uptick in US users in 2021 alone.
Mercedes-Benz, Ford, TomTom, HERE, Lotus cars, Tata Motors, Triumph Motorcycles, Mapbox, and other logistics companies have started to use what3words for different navigation-based pain points.
Notable brands have been part of the company’s investing growth as well, as Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, SAIC, Capital, Sony, and Ingka (parent company of IKEA) invested in what3words’ Series C funding round in 2020.
“At our core, what3words is on a mission to become the standard in global addressing. We want everyone, everywhere to be able to easily communicate exact addresses to ensure they can receive deliveries, navigate to exact locations, book a taxi to a specific entrance, and in the future hop into an autonomous vehicle,” Cashion told Hypepotamus.