Jentro changes strategy; looks towards making apps

Germany-based mobile navigation supplier Jentro launched this week a new brand called FoxNav in the United Kingdom. This time the German company is looking at direct sales to consumer through handset makers application stores.

Available on Blackberry App World and Android Market,and soon to be on the Microsoft Windows marketplace, the off-board navigation system will be offered at the very low price point of GBP 19.99 for one year unlimited navigation in the UK and GBP 39.99 for Western Europe. These price points include traffic information and speedcam warnings.

After raising $29 million from US venture capital firms in June 2007, Jentro hired a US management based in Chicago while the development was in Munich and core business in Europe. In addition to this strange choice, Jentro had many issues with its customers.

Motorola was a major client in the mobile space and its mobile navigation ambitions went south, in addition the other customers pursued in the PND space (for connected services) – namely Mio and Magellan – never or half-launched their connected PNDs.

In the US the company never succeeded to convince a wireless operator on a market owned by NIM and TeleNav. In Europe sales to operators never materialized while competitors Telmap, Appello and Wayfinder signed up customers after customers. In the end none of the existing business was able to sustain the company which finally drastically reduced its headcount at the beginning of 2009.

For Jentro FoxNav might be the last chance to make a real business out of the navigation market.

Courtesy: GPS Business News.

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