Trimble acquires Spime to grow its GPS business

Advanced positioning technology company Trimble has acquired mobile GPS company Spime, VentureBeat has learned.

Shankar Narayanan, chief executive of Spime, indicated on his LinkedIn page that Spime is now a Trimble company. A Wikipedia entry for him says that as of May 2012, Spime was “acquired by a multi billion dollar United States public Company.”

Spime specializes in GPS software platforms for use by smartphone app developers. Its MapMan LBS Platform integrates social and location services into GPS-enabled apps. Spime also offers a navigation service and map service under the names Northstar Nav and Northstar Map. Spime’s customers include mobile operators, manufacturers, developers, and platform and semiconductor providers, who use its platforms to build location-based apps. Nokia’s Navteq has partnered with Spime for its GPS technology.

On the other hand, Trimble builds GPS hardware for construction, surveying, government, and military uses. Its product offerings range from 3-D laser scanners and military survey systems to embeddable GPS antennas and GPS chipsets. Trimble’s mobile segment makes up a small part of the company, and offers devices for field service management, transportation, and logistics workers, who need to take portable GPS devices into the field.

Trimble may have snatched up Spime to flesh out its mobile business a bit more and take advantage of Spime’s GPS software.

Trimble’s founder, Charles Trimble, started the company after leaving HP in 1978. Since its founding, the company has been responsible for developing GPS technology for commercial and consumer use. In 1999, it became the first GPS to go public. Trimble recorded $1.6 billion in revenue for 2011. The company’s headquarters are in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Spime was founded in 2006 and has raised $3.86 million in funding from undisclosed investors. It recently closed a $3.2 million round in April 2012. The company is based in Newark, Calif. near Silicon Valley.

VentureBeat has reached out to Trimble and Spime for comment and will update when we get a response.

GPS on a map image via Shutterstock

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