SoftBank Group formed a joint venture with Mapbox in Japan to enhance maps in the country and meet increased enterprise demand.

In a statement, SoftBank’s head of business development Eric Gan said the move will help businesses to “enhance their existing mapping services” by offering customisable “location-based services and management tools”.

Gan pointed to rising demand for Mapbox’s products from a number of industries spanning retail, taxi-booking, payment, mobility and manufacturing, with SoftBank constantly “discovering new use cases” for its partners.

Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen said the venture boosted the company’s global service portfolio, predicting the partnership would open the doors to “an enormous number of entities in Japan”.

The mapping plaftorm developer said it will provide special support to organisations using its service to monitor the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in Japan, with the service offered for free until end-September.

Mapbox provides technology used by a number of apps, including Snap and Instacart.