Nokia restructuring means Navteq will close Malvern office, affecting about 300 employees; Trafffic.com's legacy
Struggling Finnish handset maker Nokia yesterday announced further streamlining of its workforce and operations, which may result in a global headcount reduction of 3500 people. In addition to the handset business, these changes will impact Nokia's Location & Commerce sector, which includes Navteq and its operations in Malvern. Nokia says it will close the Malvern office and concentrate Navteq's US operations in Chicago and Boston. A company spokesperson said in an email to Philly Tech News that about 300 people will be affected in Malvern, although there will be some relocation opportunities to Chicago or Boston.
This appears to close an interesting chapter in Philly Tech history that grew out of Traffic.com, earlier called Mobility Technologies and other names. Founded in 1998 with backing from VC firms including Radnor's TL Ventures, Traffic.com set out to revolutionize traffic monitoring and reporting through the use of technology. It installed roadside traffic sensors and used various other sources to collect real-time traffic information and distribute it to consumers and business users via multiple types of media. My sense is that its broadcast and information delivery operations (sort of an AccuWeather for traffic) are probably more important than its data collection activities now. And it is a competitive business.
Traffic.com did an IPO in 2006. It was promptly acquired later that year by Navteq for about $180 million; Nokia in turn announced it would acquire Navteq in late 2007. At the time of its acquisition by Navteq, Traffic.com had approximately 650 employees.
Moco News reports that Navteq lost $67.6 million on revenue of $331 million, according to Nokia's latest quarterly results reported in July. There was no specific breakout on Navteq Traffic's contribution to those numbers.
Traffic.com served as a training ground for many Philly entrepreneurs who have gone on to make significant contributions to the tech ecosystem in this area and elsewhere. Among those I've found named as co-founders are Brian Malewicz, President of Wayne-based GreenLink Networks, Mike Burns, Managing Partner of King of Prussia VC firm Alara Capital, Al McGowan, CEO of Wisconsin-based TrafficCast, and Chris Rothey, former Traffic.com COO and a now a top Navteq exec in Malvern. And there are many others Traffic.com veterans doing big things.