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Garmin buys maker of Backtracker bike radar device

Published January 15, 2015

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland (BRAIN) — Garmin Ltd. has acquired iKubu (Pty) Ltd., a South African company that has developed a rear-facing radar system for bicyclists. iKubu introduced its Backtracker device at the Eurobike show last summer. It includes a handlebar-mounted display that alerts riders to vehicles approaching from behind. Last summer, iKubu launched a crowd-funding campaign to bring the product to market.

Garmin indicated that it would integrate the radar technology into its existing products. 

"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 Cliff Pemble, Garmin's president and CEO. "We are delighted to add this technology to the Garmin portfolio."

Franz Struwig, managing director of iKubu, said, "Garmin is a technological leader among cyclists, and we are looking forward to integrating our technology and expertise into their outstanding products. ... Garmin gives us the resources to develop, bring to market, and showcase our products that we otherwise would not have."

According to a Garmin statement, most of the former employees of iKubu will become employees of Garmin's existing subsidiary in South Africa and will continue to operate primarily as a research and development center based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Garmin said financial terms of the acquisition will not be released.

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