Local Swiss paper Le Temps has some further interesting details on Google’s acquisition of Endoxon. If you speak French, read it here, else the highlights are below, translated:
The contract was signed last friday, the price of the agreement was not disclosed, and it’s the first Swiss company bought by Google.
Endoxon was founded 18 years ago by two bothers, Stefan and Bruno Muff. Until last friday, it employed 80 people, with offices in Switzerland, India and St. Petersburg. Its Indian subsidiary assembles satellite images of different countries (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Japan, Dubai…) and adds layers of points of interest.
“We are the best,” assures Samuel Widmann, Endoxon’s [ex-]CEO. “Nobody in the world assembles as much information as we do on maps.”
In 2006, Endoxon will have revenues of 10 million Swiss francs (USD$ 8 million).
Google is buying Endoxon’s database of POIs, its international subsidiaries that process and create the digital maps, as well as a mobile division, whose products are not yet on the market.
The other activities of Endoxon, (classic cartography, geomarketing and the “Trinity” tool that enhances MSFT Outlook) will be regrouped into a new company called Mappuls.
Around 50 of Endoxon’s 80 employees, among them Samuel Widmann et Stefan Muff, will join Google’s Swiss offices in Zurich. [It's not clear from the article if those 50 include the subsidiaries.]
“It’s excellent news for us… and also for Google!” says Stefan Muff. “We have Swiss quality standards, and our solution will be able to be applied globally.”
Google’s Kay Oberbeck, Google spokesperson for Northern Europe, is quoted as saying: “We are first going to extend their applications to other countries on the old continent [i.e. Europe], and it’s not impossible that we’ll go beyond that.”
That’s what the article said. I find the India connection most interesting. Map processing can be repetitive, and cost effectiveness in this field can mean far more processing for the buck.