Telmap, which operates the M8 navigation app, and which was acquired by Intel Corporation (Nasdaq: INTC) in 2011, is firing scores of employees as part of a streamlining effort and a change in strategy. Telmap has more than 200 employees in Israel.
Telmap Israel director of operations Uri Kushnir told "Globes" in response that he was unaware of the matter and could not comment on it.
In addition to the M8 app, which can be downloaded for free by all consumers, Telmap has agreements with local mobile carriers which operate the app under their own brands in exchange for payment. An example is the Cellcom Navigator. The service is provided at no extra cost as part of Cellcom Israel Ltd's (NYSE:CEL; TASE:CEL) Internet package, or for a fee of NIS 10-25.
In February, Telmap changed its business model to offer its navigation app for free. Its app competes against Waze's navigation app, but since the switch to the new free business model, Telmap has not been able to compete.
The mood at Telmap has been bleak for several months. The fact that its main rival, Waze, has been acquired by Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) has not helped, as Telmap realizes that Google has basically taken over the navigation business. Nonetheless, Telmap will not be closed, because of its agreements with mobile carriers.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 25, 2013
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