In 2011 Navigine’s founders decided to leverage their know-how in integrated navigation at business field. Among navigation applications they chose indoor navigation because at that time indoor location market started to emerge and was expected to grow with a fast pace. They realized that this was a perfect combination of market opportunity and existing core competences that gave them a chance to build a fast growing international technology company. Below is our interview with Oleg Demidov, PhD, Co-Founder and CBDO at Navigine:
Q: You’ve recently announced $900K in a new funding; could you tell us something more?
A: After three years of active operations in Russia, we’ve already obtained multiple requests from various industries on usage of indoor navigation and adjacent location based services. Our current target is an international expansion with a focus on the US and European markets. The new investment round will be mostly allocated to grow our international sales and marketing team as well as speed up deployments with large enterprise clients.
Q: What is the Navigine’s story?
A: Founders, Alexey Panyov and I met while studying in Moscow State University. We completed PhD degrees at Mechanics and Mathematics department in Laboratory of Navigation and Control, where we were working under a guidance one of the best expert in integrated navigation worldwide.
2 years ago we had operations only in Russia and started our first projects in Middle East. Since that time we have performed a huge step in international expansion leveraging our core competitive advantages:
– Up to 1-meter accuracy of indoor navigation and up to 0.1-meter accuracy of asset tracking
– One the best-in-class quality to price ratio and support of existing infrastructure
– Fast system roll out (up to 200K sq ft per man day) and easy to use software tools for developers and system integrators
– Quick integration with external IT solutions like IBM Bluemix, SAP HANA, industrial security systems, etc.
In November 2015 we started operations in Germany within Berlin office and later we moved Navigine headquarter to New York. We participated in 2 accelerator programs: Starta Accelerator and Healthbox Accelerator.
We have managed to land business critical partnerships with major technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, HP, Samsung, Yandex, to name a few. Gartner included us into its Cool Vendor report 2016.
We have already successfully completed such projects:
– Visitors navigation and staff tracking in Moscow train stations, Skolkovo Technopark, Dubai and Sheremetyevo airports, Moscow Subway,.
– Real-time car tracking solution at Mercedes repair center
– Indoor positioning solution for SmartCart shopping carts in over 20 retail stores in Finland
– Indoor navigation and analytics for mobile apps of major museums – Kunstkamera and The Kremlin
At the moment we have 15 people in our team with 4 PhDs in related field. We are leaders in Russian market performing projects for major Transportation, Retail and Automotive customers. Our solutions are installed at 500+ locations in 20+ different countries.
Q: Why is now the time for a technology solution like Navigine?
A: People spend 90% of their lives indoors in houses, offices and shopping malls. All places where satellite navigation is flakey at best. In 2017 that’s poised to change, as indoor navigation will start to grow in popularity this year and be one of the biggest tech trends of the nearest future. According to Deloitte report, by 2022 at least a quarter of all uses of precision digital navigation will include an indoor leg or be for an entirely indoor journey. Growth will be stimulated by sustained improvements in the accuracy of indoor navigation over the medium term. Precise indoor navigation’s potential is significant, is likely to benefit most vertical sectors, and have impacts on government, businesses and consumers alike. So we expect an increase of demand for indoor navigation in different areas of people’s life.
Major part of all use-cases can be divided into two main categories. The first one is navigation in areas with a pre-defined map and extensive infrastructure. The main purpose of such systems is the optimization of production processes, staff monitoring (warehouses, factories, hospitals), improving the efficiency of the large public buildings (airports, stations, shopping, centers, museums, etc.). The second category can be attributed to the problem of determining the location when there is no any prior information about the digital map and infrastructure of the building. This is especially useful for special departments (military, police, firefighters and others), when it is necessary to have precise positioning in unequipped spaces and there is no time for pre-deployment and training of the navigation system.
Q: What kind of products are you offering to your clients?
A: The core of our products is the technology of precise positioning (up to 1 meter) using data available in a majority of current mobile devices.
Our first product is an SDK to integrate indoor navigation, push notifications and motion analytics functions into mobile apps. It helps mobile developers to quickly develop mobile apps for such clients as airports, transport hub, shopping malls, hypermarkets, etc.
The second product is the tool to create solutions for tracking of staff, vehicles and other assets inside buildings. It helps system integrators to create end client solutions in different enterprise cases for large-scale buildings.
Our indoor navigation solution for a mobile app allows venue owners/managers to:
1. Improve customer loyalty through the increase of customer service
2. Receive additional marketing revenues from tenants/brands through new marketing channel
3. Analyze visitors flow and get the insights for revenue growth and negotiations with tenants/brands
Navigine service for customer location analytics inside building allows retailers and brands to:
1. Analyze visitors flow and get the insights for revenue growth and negotiations with tenants/brands
2. Optimize marketing channels and ad campaigns on the basis of their efficiency analytics in real time
3. Analyze and compare operation efficiency of multiple points of sales and services.
We have got two major business models.
The first one is licensing (SAAS) when we sell a subscription to use our software platform.
The second one is advertising when we get a part of revenue from ads targeted by customer microlocation
Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Having achieved one of the leadership positions at Eastern Europe Navigine is currently focused on expansion to US and Western European markets. New funding will be dedicated to enhance Navigine product complementing precise positioning platform with online-to-offline marketing and analytics platform.
The latest platform product that we’ve developed is an Online-to- Offline marketing and analytics tool that enable marketers to target advertising based on a highly precise customer location data. The tool provides an advanced tracking of in-store conversion and collection of customer segments according to their needs identified in offline world.