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Navdy

Augmented driving device for cars
Startup Cemetery
GENERAL INFORMATION
Category:
Transportation
Country:
United States
Started:
2013
BUSINESS FAILURE
Outcome:
Shut Down
Cause:
Multiple Reasons
Closed:
2018
FOUNDERS & EMPLOYEES
Number of Founders:
2
Name of Founders:
Doug Simpson, Karl Guttag
Number of Employees:
50-100
FUNDING
Number of Funding Rounds:
4
Total Funding Amount:
$41.8M
Number of Investors:
20

What was Navdy?

Navdy wanted to revolutionize automotive navigation through a heads-up display (HUD) model that projected the GPS navigation in front of you (much like in an airplane cockpit). The company's user-friendly device was meant to be installed on the dashboard of a car, right in front of the steering wheel and help make driving much safer by getting people to look straight ahead at the road rather than at their phones. Navdy also came up with its own ios app that linked up with the main HUD device and provided it with the relevant navigational output to display to the driver.

Navdy’s pitch was quite straightforward. Whereas head-up displays are increasingly common in some cars (generally performance or luxury models), they’re still a relative rarity on mainstream vehicles, and there’s usually no retrofitting possible from the automakers themselves. Their solution, therefore, was a device that mounted on the dashboard that included a small, transparent display panel within the driver’s line of sight that would project navigational information right in front of the driver.

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Why did Navdy fail and shut down?

Navdy's HUD device was initially priced at $799, but they soon found out that demand was not going to keep pace with such a highly-priced gadget as predicted. The price was soon slashed down to $499 but instead of an influx of new demand, Navdy would learn the hard way that the HUD market was extremely saturated. As previously states, the HUD display market is not something new and is quite common in high-end luxury cars. Navdy planned to create a new market for HUD navigational devices for the average user, but their price did not justify their stated goals.

More importantly, most users were complaining that Navdy’s HUD and its mobile app were not developed to satisfy customer needs appropriately. They argued that the display did not blend into the car’s windshield like some of its high-end competitors’ but that the device rather sat in front of the user’s line of view. This meant that Navdy’s HUD display was in no way a better display compared to looking at a GPS or phone mount that can be purchased for much less. A lot of the customers also felt that the product was very slow in displaying the GPS navigation from its dedicated ios app.

However, more than the product itself, what would really bring down Navdy was their quest to create their own complete navigation system that would substitute Google Maps or other such service providers. The costs for maintaining this service were not as cheap as they probably thought, and the price of maintaining such an expensive venture coupled with a lack of substantial demand for their product would prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Navdy. The company eventually went bust in 2018 due to these shortcomings.

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