Published On: Fri, Mar 1st, 2013

Waze to Go!

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Noam Bardin

Noam Bardin

Navigating in today’s fast changing environment may not be easy, but more and more consumers are discovering that technological solutions may assist us in different ways.  Waze, the mobile  navigating application developed by the Israeli team Waze Mobile suggests drivers from around the world a  whole new range of possibilities.

Waze is a  free crowd-sourcing app, that automatically supplies drivers real-time road information. Last week Waze won the prestigious  Judges Choice –  best overall mobile application at the Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress , striking competitors like Dropbox and Flipboard. ”it is a great victory for us, said the company in its facebook page. “Thank you all Wazers for making us the number one app”.

The real turning point emerged last year, during the Apple’s map service crash. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO recommended users to use Waze as an alternative to Apple’s service.  According to the technological blog ‘TechCrunch’ Apple has even offered to buy the app for $400 million dollars, but  up until this moment the offer has been declined.

Waze was founded in 2008 By Uri Levine, Ehud Shabati and  Amir Shenar.  The business strategy was to branding the way of its users, suggesting drivers  shopping, dining or entertainment deals available on their way. Businesses are also able to advertise themselves on the map. Waze’s CEO,  Noam Baradin,   claimed in the past that the company’s main focus is user experience. Baradin claims that this may be the main reason for the company’s decision to shift its headquarters to the silicon valley. So far the company raised approx 70 million dollars and Its main investors Horizon Ventures  (owned by Billionaire Lee Cashing ) and the venture capital fund Klieners Perkins.

The only way is App

Almost 40 million users can not be wrong: The driver’s  received data is being automatically transferred to all users, including roads updates, traffic jams, hazards on the way, Police vehicles and high speed radars. Drivers using Waze may plan their journey according to an anonymous travel information, including speed and exact location. Waze maps  and services are available in more than 100 countries, allowing users to watch other driver’s position and contact them through clicking the “Message” button

A new version of the app enables users to inform other users instantly in a case of road blockage. Other updated versions enable users to note the progress of their friends who drive to the same location or even send a “pick up” request. The other person will immediately be notified about your current location and the expected time you will get to the pick up point. In addition, users can also send family /colleagues a link that shows their updated location. It’s great for seeing when a loved one will arrive from work or school.

Waze’s journey on the road for success has just begun, but CEO Baradin believes that at some point there will no other way than cooperating with giants like Apple and Google. In an interview to CNBC channel, Baradin Said: “We believe that if you look about five years out, there are going to be two maps of the world. There is going to be Google and there is going to be Wazes, “

This statement may bring to mind the old biblical story of David and Goliath. Can the small Israeli company strike worldwide giants in a surprising manner that they may be to arrogant to anticipate? Only time will tell us the future way of Waze.

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