Stellenbosch startup iKubu acquired by Garmin


GPS navigation and wireless device company Garmin has announced it has acquired the assets of iKubu, a Stellenbosch-based startup that designs computer vision and radar systems for the cycling market, for an undisclosed amount.

A graduate from Knife Capital’s Grindstone accelerator programme, iKubu is in the final stages of developing the Backtracker low-energy bike radar, which provides unparalleled situational awareness by giving the cyclist the speed and distance of vehicles that are approaching from behind.

“iKubu has found a way to implement short-range radar into a low-power system that addresses a common concern among cyclists – identifying potential hazards that are approaching them from behind,” said Garmin president and chief executive officer (CEO) Cliff Pemble. “We are delighted to add this technology to the Garmin portfolio.”

iKubu managing director Franz Struwig said Garmin was a technological leader, and that his company was looking forward to integrating its technology and expertise into its new owner’s products.

“Garmin gives us the resources to develop, bring to market, and showcase our products that we otherwise would not have,” he said.

Most of the former employees of iKubu will become employees of Garmin’s existing subsidiary in South Africa, and will operate primarily as a research and development centre based in Stellenbosch, South Africa.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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