Monday, June 10, 2013

Google Acquires Navigation App Operator Waze for $1,1 Billion

Google (GOOG) is buying Waze, a navigation app operator, to keep up with competitors such as Facebook. The deal is expected to be announced on June 11th according to an anonymous source. Google will have access to 40 million Waze users.

Waze is a relatively unknown company. It provides a free app for iPhone and Google Android devices. Base on the principle of crowd-sourcing, real-time GPS data from Waze users are used. This makes traffic and navigation information accurate and useful. Users can also add information themselves, such as traffic incidents, speed traps and gas prices.  

It is a smart move considering the rise in use of smartphones and tablets. Google and Facebook are both targeting mobile device users with a wide range of services, including navigation.

Greg Sterling, analyst at Opus Research told Bloomberg that Google will be able to provide better navigation services such as directions and traffic information.

There are three reasons why Google is spending more than $1 billion to acquire Wave:

1) Wave has an innovative and hot technology
2) Wave directly competes with Google Maps
3) Apple and Facebook will not be able to acquire Wave.

Waze was founded in 2009 and according to IVC, Waze has raised $67 million to date in three financing rounds from venture capital funds and strategic investors.

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