Augmentra, creator of an award winning 'off-road sat nav' for the mobile phone, has gained the funding it needs to accelerate the next phase of its growth. It is also announcing the appointment of two seasoned industry figures to help guide the business as it expands and develops.
The new directors are also investors, with additional funding from Cambridge Capital Group and the Thames Valley Investment Network.
Wareham continues: "We received a lot of interest from investors, despite the wider economic circumstances. Our new board members bring valuable experience and a network of contacts that will benefit our business immeasurably."
Since its formation in 2006, Augmentra has grown organically, primarily through word of mouth, by offering a great solution for walkers and outdoor activity participants. Its flagship product, ViewRanger, is a unique mapping, tracking and navigation tool that can be downloaded from the mobile internet or bought in outdoor retailers to transform a smartphone into a fully featured off-road and trail navigation system. As part of its growth plans, Augmentra will be bringing ViewRanger to a range of additional mobile platforms and expanding its map and data content partner network around the globe.
ViewRanger has become popular with serious outdoor enthusiasts, professional users and Sunday ramblers alike, who value its ease of use, speed and additional features - available without having to buy a dedicated navigation device.
The innovative software has been highly acclaimed. In 2008 ViewRanger was selected by Symbian as one of their five 'Cool Apps' exhibits at the Smartphone Show. Ordnance Survey named it as Most Innovative Product in the Navigation Sector 2007-08. It was awarded Best Location-Aware Service & Application in Nokia's S60 Global Challenge 2006.
Richard Brennan, a founding executive at Orange plc with a wealth of experience in the mobile sector, joins Augmentra's Board as Non-Executive Chair. He comments: "Augmentra is an exciting company to be involved with. They have been able to show impressive traction, delivering real revenues, simply by offering outdoor enthusiasts a great off-road navigation solution. By identifying even more segments, delivering the application across a range of platforms, and forging partnerships with major players like the Ordnance Survey and National Geographic Maps, the business has the potential for tremendous growth in the future."
Augmentra has expanded internationally by creating strategic relationships with leading map agencies and other content providers from around the world, including National Land Survey of Finland, National Geographic Maps, Ordnance Survey, BKG, the AA, and Walkingworld.
Joining Brennan on the board is fellow-investor Simon Thorpe, formerly COO of Global Equity Research at UBS Investment Bank, and a qualified Chartered Accountant. Thorpe's financial acumen will ensure that Augmentra maximises the potential of its funding, accelerating the growth of the business.
"ViewRanger has already been proven in the field by professional users and keen outdoors enthusiasts alike," said Thorpe. "Having the funds to further develop the underlying technology and deploy ViewRanger on additional mobile platforms, together with increased commercial activity, will provide greater opportunities for expansion and the development of new sales channels."
Unique features of ViewRanger include detailed topographic maps, a 3D panoramic view of the surroundings, and an integral sports computer with data on speed, pace, heading, altitude and position. By integrating with the phone's camera, ViewRanger enables easy input of point of interest information, plus location tagging of images, video, audio and notes.
Mike Brocklehurst, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, looks forward to growing his team of engineers. "We have an exceptional opportunity to capitalise on the convergence of smartphones, GPS and mobile services," he said. "We have worked hard to create an intuitive interface which offers an outstanding user experience and greater functionality than any of the standalone navigation devices currently on the market. I look forward to bringing our ViewRanger software to a wider audience as we roll-out onto an increasing number of mobile operating platforms.?
Leo Dunne, Thames Valley Investment Network Manager, commented, "TVIN was happy to work with the team at Augmentra as we remain impressed with both their vision and drive. They had a strong commercial story to tell and the ability to tell this effectively. We are pleased that the investment has been completed and that TVIN investor members have played an important role in this. We look forward to receiving further news of their ongoing success in the future."
About Augmentra Ltd
Augmentra is a specialist in location-based mapping, navigation and information software applications for mobile phones. It delivers innovative solutions that exploit the potential offered by the convergence of mobile phone, imaging and GPS technologies. It is focussed on the outdoor activity, leisure and travel markets.
Augmentra is partnered with a range of national mapping agencies and content publishers covering territories across the globe.
Follow Augmentra at www.twitter.com/viewranger
About Thames Valley Investment Network
Founded in 2003, Thames Valley Investment Network (TVIN) links investors to companies with high growth potential.
TVIN is managed by Oxford Innovation Ltd (www.oxin.co.uk), the UK's leading operator of innovation centre premises for growing companies, and sponsored by Mathys & Squire, patent and trade mark attorneys; Maxim Corporate Finance LLP; iMeta Technologies, software development firm and Keystone Law, one of the UK's top legal practices. For more information: www.tvin.co.uk
About Cambridge Capital Group
Cambridge Capital Group (CCG) is a private investor group founded in 2000. It aggregates angel investments in private, unquoted technology companies, seeking disruptive technologies and investing alongside specialist lead and co-investors. Membership of CCG is offered by invitation only.