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Here’s the rare geography-based startup that apparently isn’t doing so well: Platial, which billed itself as the ‘people’s atlas’ and let people aggregate stories, reviews and multimedia on maps, which they could embed on their own sites, is closing down its service. The company had raised at least $2.4 million in funding from big nameinvestors including KeyNote Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Ron Conway, and Omidyar Network.
Platial had also purchased social mapping Frappr in 2007, saying that together the two companies would account for 25 percent of the map widgets on the web. Unlikely that statistic still holds, considering the popularity of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Maps’ My Maps, which was released in 2007 and lets users annotate maps and embed them.
In a post, headlined ‘Geographic Euthanasia,’ Platial says its service may go offline as soon as tomorrow. “We are painfully aware that this is an incredibly short amount of time to dump this on people,” the company says. “The only response is a sincere apology.” Platial says it will provide more information about what drove the decision later. (We’ve asked the company and will update if we hear back).
Oddly, the decision comes as investors have been rushing to put cash into location-based startups. To give just one specifically map-related example: CultureMap, which runs a local online magazine in Houston (and plans to launch others soon) has raised a “low seven figures” round for its site, which centers its news entries around maps.
Platial’s shut down was first reported by TechCrunch earlier today.