Off-board meets on-board: Wayfinder acquires Navicore



Off-board meets on-board: Wayfinder acquires Navicore
Wayfinder and Navicore have today announced that an agreement has been signed finalizing the acquisition of the Finnish navigation company Navicore by Wayfinder. Navicore is a 20 people company which develops and sells navigation software for the Symbian Smartphone platform as well as the Linux Nokia Internet tablet. Transaction's details have not been disclosed, but the Wayfinder press release states: “Wayfinder management does not foresee additional capital requirements as a result of the acquisition. There will be no dilution effect for existing Wayfinder shareholders and the profit per share will not be affected by the acquisition”.

Navicore sells its software through retail and OEM deals in 30 countries across Europe, North America, Middle East, South Africa and Australia, but its key markets are Scandinavia, United Kingdom and Germany. In the retail space it sells - via distributors such as Dangaard and Brightpoint - to phone accessories retailers and consumer electronics chains such as Carphone Warehouse in the UK or Mediamarkt in Germany. “Today retail and OEM are about 50/50, but the OEM part is growing more rapidly”, said Jani Jääskeläinen, Vice President Sales at Navicore. For example Nokia is directly selling the Navicore solution for its N800 tablet on its website.

Navicore on Nokia N800 tablet
Navicore on Nokia N800 tablet
Navicore on Nokia N800 tablet
Navicore on Nokia N800 tablet
According to Canalys market research figures, in the last quarter of 2006, Navicore was at the third place in Europe after Route66 and TomTom for on-board Smartphone navigation. “Our market share is 15 to 20%”, said Jani Jääskeläinen.

This acquisition makes a lot of sense for Wayfinder at a time where Smartphones – and especially Nokia’s Smartphones - are getting very popular in Europe and navigation one of the features consumers want to use. Having an on-board solution in its product range will offer more flexibility to its customers, especially phone manufacturers. Nevertheless the Navicore retail business will be completely new to Wayfinder, more used to sell to businesses (wireless operators and handsets manufacturers) than directly to consumers.

Tuesday, July 3rd 2007

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