Garmin acquires SA startup iKubu

GPS and navigation equipment giant, Garmin says it has acquired the assets of iKubu, a privately-held designer of computer vision and radar systems for the cycling market, based in South Africa.

Garmin noted that iKubu is in the final stages of developing the Backtracker low-energy bike radar, a device that provides unparalleled situational awareness by giving the cyclist the speed and distance of vehicles that are approaching from behind.

The road is scanned by a rear-facing radar module that also doubles as a dynamically flashing caution light, and the information is sent wirelessly to a handlebar-mounted head unit.

The financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

Most of the former employees of iKubu will become employees of Garmin’s existing subsidiary in South Africa and will continue to operate primarily as a research and development centre based in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

“iKubu has found a way to implement short-range radar into a low-power system that addresses a common concern among cyclists – identifying potential hazards that are approaching them from behind,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and CEO.

“We are delighted to add this technology to the Garmin portfolio.”

“Garmin is a technological leader among cyclists, and we are looking forward to integrating our technology and expertise into their outstanding products,” said Franz Struwig, managing director of iKubu.

“Garmin gives us the resources to develop, bring to market, and showcase our products that we otherwise would not have.”

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Garmin acquires SA startup iKubu