GPS maker Garmin today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of DeLorme, a privately-held company that designs and markets consumer-based satellite tracking devices with two-way communication and navigational capabilities. Financial terms of the purchase agreement and acquisition will not be released.
One of the most compelling products in the DeLorme portfolio is its inReach series of two-way satellite communication devices. These GPS-enabled devices allow the user to send and receive satellite text messages or trigger an SOS for emergency help, anywhere in the world.
InReach is using the Iridium satellite network. Suggested retail price for the entry level inReach SE is $299 and the more advanced inReach Explorer is $379, with a choice of annual satellite subscriptions or no-contract Freedom Plans with only a minimum 30-day commitment. Freedom Plans start at $14.95 per month for the safety service and go up to $99.95 per month for the highest service level.
Delorme is also selling paper maps, as well as GIS software and digital base maps to enterprise customers.
Garmin said they will retain most of the associates of DeLorme and will continue operations at its existing location in Yarmouth, Maine.
“This Yarmouth facility will operate primarily as a research and development centre and will continue to develop two-way satellite communication devices and technologies,“ Garmin wrote.
This acquisition extends Garmin reach into a new device category where it already has a lot of customers and a powerful brand: hikers and boaters. While InReach is an interesting product it had so far limited visibility and no distribution outside of the United States. With Garmin marketing machine behind it will certainly open up new possibilities and further integration into new devices.