Garmin’s fast-growing marine business just got bigger. The publicly-traded electronics giant (GRMN, Nasdaq) just bought Navionics, the privately-held provider of navigation charts and mobile applications.
“Navionics has long been known as a leading supplier of highly accurate navigational charts and mobile applications for boaters,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO. “By combining Navionics’ content with Garmin’s BlueChart and LakeVu content, we will be able to offer the best available breadth and depth of coverage to our marine customers.” Pemble said that Garmin, a world-wide company based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, will keep the Navionics brand and support Navionics’ customers.
The deal gives Garmin Navionics’ popular boating app (full disclosure: I love it), and Navionics’ charts that it has developed with its proprietary surveys, including those done in the field and those compiled through satellite imagery and airborne laser scanners.
Giuseppe Carnevali, Navionics founder and president, said, “Since our founding, Navionics has been passionate about creating products that enhance the boating experience. Garmin shares our passion for serving the marine industry, and is an ideal company to carry the strong brand and reputation of Navionics into the future.”
Navionics is based in Viareggio, Italy. Garmin said it would keep Navionics’ 350 employees worldwide.
Garmin’s marine business is the smallest of its five segments, but it is growing rapidly. Indeed, in fiscal 2016, the marine segment brought in $331.95 million in revenue, representing only 11 percent of the company’s total, but a 16 percent increase from the prior year. The terms of the Navionics deal were not disclosed.