What3words gets $500,000 to map the world with words

Agreeing to meet with friends in a crowded place can be a complete nightmare.

Particularly when it’s in a foreign city, or in the middle of a field at a festival.

One London startup has received $500,000 of seed funding to solve this problem by dividing the world up by grouping 3 words.

Precise locations

What3words was created by Jack Waley-Cohen [pictured on the left] and Chris Sheldrick [pictured on the right] founded only this year.

They have created a 3m x 3m grid across the globe using words that uniquely identifies each square.

For example, the base of the London Eye is identified with the words “camps.laser.clean”.


Because the grid size is so small, it allows for near precision in identifying locations.

It can be particularly useful if you live in a rural area for couriers as postcodes and street names are particularly vague.

The seed investment comes from a number of investors including Guy Westlake, Head of Marketing at Shutl.

Mr Westlake said he was excited to come onboard the programme:

“what3words shares much in common with Shutl, not least the fact that they both straddle B2B and B2C markets,”

“I believe it’s a very exciting space to be in, and am delighted to put my experience to use and help the team navigate the challenges ahead.”

Business integration

The money will be used to integrate the platform with the back end of businesses such as ecommerce and delivery services.

what3words is available on the web, or with dedicated iPhone and Android apps.

It can be used in either English, Spanish or Russian.

For clarity, the company have removed words that sound similar such as ‘there’ and ‘their’ which may sound similar in conversation.

Oneword branding

The company have also launched their API allowing third party applications to utilise the database.

Users can buy squares and name them with a single word for 99p.

The service is also intended to link up with businesses such as delivery services to help increase efficiency.