Qualcomm to spin off LBS subsidiary

Silicon vendor Qualcomm’s Retail Solutions subsidiary, which focuses on location services, is to be spun off as an independent company, following an agreement signed between the firm and a group of third party investors. The investors will gain a controlling interest in Qualcomm Retail Solutions, which will be renamed Gimbal, taking the name of the unit’s context aware proximity platform.

The third-party investors include of a mix of venture capital, strategic and individual investors. The i-Hatch LBS Fund has been identified as one investor, and Qualcomm Technologies will also keep a stake in the firm after it also invested in Gimbal.

Qualcomm explained that Gimbal includes support for geofencing and proximity beacons, which define geographical boundaries for services, as well as a software development kit (SDK) for iOS and Android. The SDK enables brands and developers to engage consumers with in a timely and personalised way.

“Enabling proximal, contextually relevant experiences is an important element of our vision to bridge the digital and physical worlds across retailing, advertising, social networking and other use cases, and Gimbal, Inc. is well positioned to continue to drive industry leadership,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm.

“Qualcomm often serves as a catalyst for creating businesses and technology that enable new and unique user experiences. We look forward to seeing the Gimbal platform continue to flourish and drive the vision we have created – now as an independent entity.”

Rocco Fabiano, current president of Qualcomm Retail Solutions will become CEO of Gimbal, and the transaction is expected to be completed in May 2014.

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