Nearly three months after it sent dozens of its Israeli employees on unpaid leave, HERE Mobility told its workers this week that it is closing down its center in Israel and laying off almost 200 people, a person with knowledge of the decision told Calcalist on condition of anonymity. The shutdown follows a decision by the company’s board of directors to focus on its core activities and forego the operations of the center in Israel.
At its height, the center employed more than 200 people, but at the beginning of May, the company sent employees from all divisions of the company’s Israel operations—including development, marketing, and administration—on unpaid leave
Now an additional 150 people were sent home.
HERE Mobility is a subsidiary of the German mapping company HERE Technologies, which was previously known as NAVTEQ at the time of its founding 30 years ago. In 2011, it was acquired by Nokia to function as the Finnish giant’s location services division. A year later it was merged with the rest of the mapping and navigation services. In August 2015, the company was acquired in equal parts by BMW, Audi, and Daimler-Chrysler for 2.8 billion Euros (approximately $3.3 billion).
HERE mobility develops systems for transportation services and enables the connection of various travel services on a single platform. Its system is intended for taxi companies, transportation companies, and others who want to improve their ability to manage and receive orders, similarly to Lyft or Uber.
The division in Israel is responsible for the development of mobile services. Among the services it developed are HERE Marketplace—an online marketplace that enables companies to reach a large number of new business and private customers, and Dispatch—an optimization solution for fleet traffic management. The new system includes a web management system for the fleet manager alongside a dedicated app for the drivers that helps improve performance and increase demand and revenue.
“The Covid-19 crisis’s impact on HERE’s revenues, lead to a board decision to reduce costs and focus on the company's core business activities,” the company said in response to Calcalist’s request for comment. “As a result of the decision, we are forced to announce the closure of HERE Mobility.”
“HERE Mobility was established three years ago with a vision to connect the world of transportation in order to create an open and free transportation market. Over the past three years, the HERE Mobility team has recorded impressive achievements in both the technological and business aspects. Nearly 1,000 companies shared in our vision and connected to our platform.
“The team worked hard to fulfill the vision and we greatly appreciate their hard work and thank them for it. Unfortunately, as a result of the crisis, we can no longer maintain this activity and must part with it with great sorrow. The company's management is committed to our employees and we will make every effort to help them find their next job.”