Venture capital firm Mobility Ventures has announced an investment in Indoor Atlas, a startup pursuing indoor mapping using the Earth’s magnetic field, as part of a $640,000 (€500,000) seed round.

Based in Finland, Indoor Atlas claims it is the first to put “magnetic anomalies” from buildings and smartphones to use in determining indoor positions.  It boasts accuracy within centimeters. The company got its start last year as a spin-off from the University of Oulu.

Founder and CEO Janne Haverinen touted Indoor Atlas’ product as offering a radical improvement in navigation in areas without GPS or Wi-Fi.

Mobility Ventures Managing Partner Roman Kikta said in a statement:

Indoor positioning is the next frontier for location based services, offering a plethora of diverse applications and the ability of providing rich contextual information about people and objects that can prove to be very valuable when combined with “big data” kinds of analytics presenting enticing advertising and branding possibilities which could revolutionize retail marketing.

As its name suggests, Mobility Ventures focuses its investments on companies that are furthering the cause of mobility. It describes its team as “venturepreneurs”, or hybrids between investors and entrepreneurs.

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