Apple Inc. has acquired Coherent Navigation, a Bay Area Global Positioning System (GPS) startup, in an apparent effort to boost its mapping technology and services, the company confirmed Sunday. A number of Coherent’s key employees, including its CEO Paul Lego, also recently began working for the Cupertino-based technology giant.
The acquisition, which was first reported by MacRumors, was later confirmed by Apple in an email obtained by the New York Times. The company, however, did not say when it bought the GPS firm and how much it paid for the buyout.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” the iPhone-maker reportedly said in the email.
Founded in 2008, Coherent Navigation focused on creating commercial navigation services in cooperation with companies like Boeing and Iridium, a Virginia-based satellite network operator, the Times reported, citing Lego’s LinkedIn profile, in which he also said that he joined Apple’s maps team in January.
According to Lego’s LinkedIn profile, Coherent Navigation was “developing a commercial high-precision navigation service” based satellite technology. The company also performed “both classified and unclassified work for the U.S. government.”
Meanwhile, it is unclear exactly how Apple will use Coherent’s services and whether there was a specific Coherent technology that Apple was interested in, according to reports.
The latest acquisition is part of a series of map-related deals that Apple has signed over the past six years. The company, which started offering Apple Maps in 2012, has bought several mapping startups, including BroadMap, Embark and HopStop.com, the Wall Street Journal reported.