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Qualcomm Spins Off its LBS Division into Stand-Alone Company

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Qualcomm is to spin off its location based services division, Gimbal into a separate company, majority owned by a team of outside investors.

The third-party investors are funding the business via a new investment round that includes additional funding from Qualcomm. The investor group comprises of a mix of venture capital, strategic and individual investors, including the i-Hatch LBS Fund, which includes strategic corporate investors such as Zebra Technologies and AEG.

At close, the third-party investors will collectively assume a controlling interest in the business. Qualcomm will remain a substantial investor, although the size of its stake was not specified. The Qualcomm Retail Solutions (QRS) division will be renamed "Gimbal"

Gimbal is a context aware proximity platform that originated in Qualcomm's internal business incubation group before transitioning into QRS. Gimbal includes support for geofencing and proximity beacons as well as an intuitive SDK for iOS and Android.

"The QRS team has made tremendous progress with the Gimbal technology platform and I am excited to continue leading this group as CEO of Gimbal," said Rocco Fabiano, current president of QRS. "I am eager to continue working with this team under a new corporate structure that will permit the business to respond quickly to this rapidly evolving ecosystem."

The transaction is expected to close in May 2014.

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