Jentro reduces headcount

sharp turn for Jentro?
sharp turn for Jentro?
In the most recent weeks some rumors were floating on the market with regards to the financial situation of LBS provider Jentro and a recent reduction in its staff. Taking the opportunity of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we spoke with Param Singh, COO and CFO at Jentro who confirmed that the German company had to lay off several people. “We have done some internal reorganization”, said Param Singh in a politically correct answer. “But the strategy remains the same and we have enough staff to meet the demand of our customers”, he added. He nevertheless refused to detail how many people left the company. He also insisted on the fact that the Chicago-based office was still operating, with only one person being laid off in the U.S.

With this acknowledgement of job cuts, we are definitely far away from the optimism shown by Jentro’s CEO Kate Edwards in our video interview in December 2008 when she said the company was closed to break even and still had money to fund further developments. It seems the venture capital firms backing the company – who infused $29 million in June 2007 - decided to make the company profitable earlier than its CEO was expecting a few months ago.

Last year Jentro moved its focus from a pure play mobile navigation company to offering connected services to PNDs and advertising-based local search (with still a navigation flavor). Jentro is currently rolling out the back-end server for a new connected PND from Mio that should be announced shortly in Europe.

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

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