Geo Week News

June 12, 2013

Google acquires social mapping app Waze


Popular social traffic app to boost Google’s position in mapping category

Google Inc. said Tuesday it completed the acquisition of Israeli startup firm Waze, and its popular social traffic app, for reportedly more than $1 billion.

Waze’s traffic app features real-time traffic data provided by its community of nearly 50 million users to help drivers find the best route to a destination.

The purchase bolsters Google’s top position in the web-based mapping category with its Google Maps app, an increasingly vital component of the smartphone market.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but The New York Times said the price was $1.03 billion.

“We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities,” Google’s Brian McClendon, vice president of GEO, said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now, McClendon said.

“We evaluated many options and believe Google is the best partner for Waze, our map editors, area managers, champs and nearly 50 million Wazers globally,” said Waze Chief Executive Noam Bardin in a blog post. “Together, we can accelerate our mission to outsmart traffic.”

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