Garmin acquires developer of ActiveCaptain

Posted on Written by Reagan Haynes

Garmin Ltd. said today that it acquired Active Corp., the developer of crowdsourcing boating platform ActiveCaptain.

ActiveCaptain is a community-based, electronic marine database that contains near real-time information about marinas, anchorages, local points of interest and marine hazards — most of which is user-generated — for cruising and sailing destinations around the world.

The database has more than 250,000 users and can be accessed via web browser or a variety of mobile applications.

The transaction was so new that Garmin hadn’t yet determined how exactly ActiveCaptain will integrate with Garmin products, said Garmin spokeswoman Carly Hysell.

“There are no plans at this time to change the way that ActiveCaptain is distributed or used,” Hysell told Trade Only Today. “It’s a healthy platform, so right now it’s just business as usual. We’re excited to make it more integrated into our product line going forward.”

The company also wants to make sure ActiveCaptain is “just as useful for European customers” as it is in the United States, Hysell said.

“There is really nothing else out there that compares to the depth and breadth of the ActiveCaptain database,”  Garmin president and CEO Cliff Pemble said in a statement. “Mariners rely on ActiveCaptain to make their voyages better informed and more enjoyable, and we are delighted to add this technology to the Garmin portfolio.”

The founders and sole employees of ActiveCaptain, co-owners Karen and Jeffrey Siegel, will become employees of Garmin International and will “continue to lead the efforts to build and develop the product and platforms for the foreseeable future,” Hysell said.

“Garmin is a technology leader among boaters of all types, and we are looking forward to working with them to make ActiveCaptain even more robust and global,” Jeffrey Siegel said. “Garmin has extensive engineering and cartography capabilities that will allow ActiveCaptain to be deeply integrated into their product offerings.”

Financial terms of the acquisition will not be released.


5 comments on “Garmin acquires developer of ActiveCaptain

  1. Dick Burkhard

    Good news for Jeff and Karen I suppose. I wish that Garmin will continue to allow Active Captain to be utilized by now competing services and now perhaps it will open it up for inclusion by Navionics which in my estimation has a far superior tablet application than Garmins.

  2. Ernest Utsch III

    Only time will tell if this is good. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Active Captain has been good. It has been very good with hands on small business friendliness. My heart hopes that will not change, but my head tells me it certainly will change. Big is not always better, it is only bigger, but time will tell us. To Jeff and Karen, “Be Well and thankyou for your time and product.

  3. Pat

    I love Active Captain. It’s a great service. I also love Garmin. Their support is excellent. I always get a real person to discuss my technical questions. I even got support at 4:45 pm on a Friday. I can only hope this merger will enhance both platforms.

  4. John Neyland Jr.

    Exciting times Ben. Enjoyed the article. Congrats to Active Captain on being acquired by such a fabulous company like Garmin International. Hope Gizmo is bringing you joy already and no hard bottom jobs needed this year for you. Looked great last year from what I recall seeing. John Neyland Jr.

  5. Royce Johnson

    I don’t see how Garmin can allow access to AC data by all the competing products like MaxSea and the cheap Android apps when their whole business model depends on sales of their hardware to drive sales of their cartography. It may not happen quickly but eventually they are going to start using access to the AC database as a way to drive people to buy Garmin HW and chartware. MBA-think cannot allow otherwise.

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