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TeleNav, which provides voice-guided navigation services on mobile phones, filed for an IPO today. The company’s offering, though, goes head-to-head with Google’s recently announced Google Maps Navigation offering.
Did Google rush its announcement to block TeleNav, or did TeleNav rush its IPO to block Google?
Probably both. TeleNav’s public S-1 filing with the SEC today has a lengthy Risks section that includes this clause:
“Google recently announced that it would offer free voice guided, turn by turn navigation as part of its release of Google Maps Navigation for mobile devices based on the Android 2.0 operating system platform. Competition from these free offerings may reduce our revenue and harm our business.”
The company’s currently in a quiet period after its IPO filing, so they’re not able to comment. But here’s the question I’d like to ask the founders and funders: Had you known Google would launch today, would you still have started TeleNav?
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based TeleNav offers a paid service, whereas Google Maps Navigaton is currently free. It’ll be interesting to see if TeleNav finds a better way than that to differentiate itself going forward.
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