Google is currently actively developing Waze

Google buys Waze for $ 1.3 billion

The speculation about the sale of the Israeli navigation service Waze has come to an end. After Apple and Facebook were also discussed as buyers in 2012, Google has now been determined as buyers, as reported by the Israeli magazine "Globes". Google wants to take over the company for 1.3 billion US dollars.

The competition in the market with maps and navigation is great, so Google is now gaining a piece of the pie again. Waze, which is believed to have around 50 million users worldwide, is one of Google's bigger purchases recently. Waze has specialized in the analysis of GPS-supported traffic data that is communicated by the users. Traffic jams, police and speed controls and other traffic-related information are processed almost in real time and free of charge for the users' smartphones. This fits perfectly with Google Maps, as the Israelis' know-how enables you to better integrate traffic information and benefit from Waze's advertising platform.

Other Israeli sources report that the deal will be conducted in dollars and that no shares will change hands. Noam Bardin, the current CEO, will remain in his position and Waze will continue to exist as a brand. The research and development department as well as the business headquarters are to remain in Israel for at least three years. Waze already has a branch in California.

With Waze, Google is creating another pillar in the booming start-up market in Israel, after having incorporated Labpixies and Quicksee in 2010. Perhaps an even more important aspect, however, is that Facebook and Apple will not win the contract. So Waze's staying power has paid off. Apple had offered $ 500 million in 2012, and Facebook was allegedly unwilling to invest more than $ 1 billion.

Founded in 2008 and currently employing 110 people, the company has received $ 67 million in venture capital from well-known donors such as Microsoft, Qualcomm and Vertex Venture Capital and KPCB. Waze apps are available for iOS and for Android.

Update 06/12/2013 8:46 a.m.
  • Ferdinand Thommes email
    ... is a freelance author, city guide and Linux developer and currently lives in Berlin and Charleston, SC.