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As the phone converges into a GPS device, people are putting away their TomTom devices and simply installing a navigation app on their 3G phone.

The level of detail on these apps varies, but Israeli startup 3DVU claims to have the killer navigation app. The new version of Navi2Go will supply both 3D aerial photography and 3D lined maps for the same price of standard map navigation. The company has recently announced the release of multi-language Navi2Go for Symbian S60 3rd Edition Smartphones – effectively reaching 80 million Nokia phones as well as Blackberries and Window’s CE phones. According to the company’s marketing manager, the iPhone version is coming up next month.

While there are many FREE navigation apps popping up on the Android Phone and the iPhone, 3DVU’s Navi2Go is the only offboard 3D image navigation solution. Developers – there is also an API for Navi2Go that you can use.

According to 3DVU’s CEO Isaac Levanon:
“Where all others are offering navigation with 80’s like graphics, Navi2Go is game changing, presenting the real world virtually to the mobile handset at the same price”

I asked the company to answer a couple of  questions:

1) What are your most successful markets? why do you think that is?
Our most successful markets currently are USA and then Germany and UK. USA was launched first in April 2008. The feedback we are getting from consumers in the USA is that they are choosing Navi2Go “cause it’s better than the other stuff” (quote from customer) and are willing to venture to try something new. Same is true for German and UK consumers. It is important to note that we are releasing Navi2Go France in November and expect substantial results.

2) Can you tell the readers of VC Cafe a little about your distribution? what has worked best so far?

Distribution is done via content providers and/or Mobile Operator’s application shops that required Navi2Go go through rigorous testing (including NSTL testing for Windows Mobile certification which Navi2Go has). We offer our product with the most popular and trusted Content Providers and Mobile Operators, giving us vast coverage of potential users.

3) What else is coming down the pipeline?
3DVU is developing on its LBS Social Networking and Flight Simulator so lots of good stuff to come.

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VC Cafe’s take: If they could only make it free by combining it with an in-GPS monetization platform – it would really be the killer navigation app.

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Eze Vidra

Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London at Google
Eze is the Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London. In 2005, he started VC Cafe to shine a spotlight on startups and Venture Capital in Israel, and in 2012, Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for-profit that supports education through cycling challenges for techies.
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