what3words announces an investment from Channel 4 Ventures, previously known as the Channel 4 Commercial Growth Fund, striking an airtime-for-equity arrangement.
The investment from the broadcaster, which has a public service remit, will help raise awareness of the global addressing system, that is making headlines around the world for saving lives.
London-born what3words has divided the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares and given each a unique three-word identifier: a what3words address. For example, the precise entrance to Channel4’s HQ can be found at ///linked.wire.needed.
Its simplicity and accuracy mean what3words has seen dramatic global growth across four key industries: automobility, logistics, travel and emergency services. Its partners include Mercedes-Benz, Tata Motors, Lonely Planet, AO.com and TomTom.
Ever-increasingly, what3words is used by emergency services. Today, over 80% of UK emergency services accept 3-word addresses, which has been used to locate thousands of callers and save hundreds of lives. The traction has caught the attention of emergency services globally, with control rooms in Australia, South Africa, the United States, Canada and Germany integrating the technology.
Vinay Solanki, Head of Channel 4 Ventures said, “This investment is a fantastic opportunity to be part of the innovative and often life-saving technology that what3words is delivering globally. We are delighted they are using our innovative model to reach upmarket and tech-savvy viewers to raise awareness of this platform, not only in an emergency but also in everyday life. We believe our investment will compound the numerous use cases that what3words generates for business customers and the public – including emergencies and safe contactless delivery.”
Chris Sheldrick, CEO of what3words added, “You never know where an emergency is going to happen, but we do know the value of having our technology to hand during it. Channel 4 has a remit to innovate and challenge the status quo which feels like a perfect match for our new technology which challenges the concept of communicating location and creates a new category. There is great synergy between us.”