Google to Buy Social Mapping Startup Waze

Acquiring the real-time traffic and navigation app to help Google stay competitive in mobile mapping.

learn more about Benjamin Kabin

By Benjamin Kabin

itechwit.com

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Waze is going the way of Google. The tech giant announced today that it is acquiring the free, crowd-sourced traffic and navigation app.

Although Google did not disclose terms of the deal, earlier reports pegged the price at $1.3 billion. If true, Israel-based Waze would be Google's fourth largest acquisition by dollar value. The idea is that buying Waze will eliminate a competitor and help solidify Google's position as a leader in mobile mapping and navigation.

For months, Waze was reportedly entertaining offers from other potential buyers including Apple and Facebook, which continues to lack any sort of substantial map offering. Google says Waze's product development team will remain in Israel. Having to relocate to the U.S. reportedly was a sticking point in Waze's negotiations with Facebook.

Waze, which was launched five years ago, says its app is used in almost 200 countries with 70,000 volunteers who help edit maps and provide other details about construction, gasoline prices and detours. It has 50 million users worldwide.

"Nothing practical will change here at Waze," chief executive Noam Bardin reassured users in a statement online. "The same Waze people will continue to collaborate with you, and we will continue to innovate our product and services, making them more social, functional and helpful for everyday drivers. Our employees, managers, founders and I are all committed to our vision for many years to come."

Waze is seen by many as a free and more dynamic alternative to vehicle navigation products such as Garmin and TomTom, which use maps that aren't updated in real time and can cost upwards of $130 per device.

Related: Google and Facebook Said to be in Battle to Acquire Social Mapping App Waze

Benjamin Kabin

Journalist

Benjamin Kabin is a Brooklyn-based technology journalist who specializes in security, startups, venture capital and social media.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Living

Invest in Yourself: 10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

When striving for success, it is easy to forget about your mental and physical health. But without health, you cannot fully succeed. Follow these ten lifestyle strategies for success in your personal and professional life.

Business News

This OnlyFans Star Was Once Part of a Fanatical MLM Cult. "I Was Forced Into Celibacy."

Cami Strella was lured into a multilevel marketing scheme but escaped to start her own six-figure-a-month business.

Marketing

This Is the Overlooked Tool Your Business Needs to Reach Your Target Audience

Voice search is growing, and your business can utilize this important functionality to get more customers. Here's how.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business Ideas

How to Make Thousands of Dollars on the Side As a Virtual Assistant

Apply your skills and experience to create a lucrative virtual assistant side hustle or full-time business.