Skobbler now has more than 3 million users using its ForeverMap2 and GPS Navigation 2 apps, especially in the UK and Germany. Skobbler is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, but its R&D facilities are located in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
While mapping giants like Google, TomTom and Nokia develop their own maps, skobbler builds its maps and navigational apps on OpenStreetMap data. According to Skobbler cofounder and CFO Marcus Thielking, the data of OpenStreetMap is not only cheaper, but also more accurate.
Thielking: “OpenStreetMap is like a mosaic. Lots of people map their respective, limited environments in it. When you put it all together, you get awesome detail. People will map their whole backyard!”
Mr. Thielking boasted that Apple, while it offers it own map apps, recommends the skobbler GPS Navigation 2 app in its App Store in the U.K., Germany and Netherlands today. Skobbler also makes the ForeverMap 2, which runs on Barnes & Noble ‘s NOOK and is the default provider of map data and technology for the NOOK.
Skobbler competitors range from the behemoth Google to Waze Inc., a social map tech start-up backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Waze crowdsources its map information, rather than incorporating OpenStreetMap’s or other data.
Skobbler was spun out of Navigon (now part of Garmin Ltd .), and secured 4 million euros in a Series A financing in late 2011 from an undisclosed “family office” fund in Switzerland.