A few months ago we heard that popular Israeli mapping company Waze was being acquired by Apple. We were told Waze wanted US$500 million but talks were collapsing because Apple was only offering US$400 million. Both Apple and Waze refused comment at the time.
Then we heard last month that Facebook was going to acquire Waze for an expected price of perhaps as much as US$1 billion. We also heard that Waze were holding out for still more. Again neither Facebook and Waze made any official comment.
Last week, to noone’s surprise really we heard that this time it was really going to happen, only now it was Google who would be acquiring Waze; either just to stop Facebook from having it or because the excellent real time, crowd-sourced, dynamic mapping technology that Waze technology has really appeals to them for their mapping products.
Well folks, it is now confirmed: Google has indeed acquired Waze, whatever their motives are, and you can find it on the official Google web blog where this post just appeared late this afternoon:
Google Maps and Waze, outsmarting traffic together
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
We’ve all been there: stuck in traffic, frustrated that you chose the wrong route on the drive to work. But imagine if you could see real-time traffic updates from friends and fellow travelers ahead of you, calling out “fender bender…totally stuck in left lane!” and showing faster routes that others are taking.
To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze. This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day.
The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now. 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.
We’ll also work closely with the vibrant Waze community, who are the DNA of this app, to ensure they have what’s needed to grow and prosper.
The Waze community and its dedicated team have created a great source of timely road corrections and updates. We welcome them to Google and look forward to working with them in our ongoing effort to make a comprehensive, accurate and useful map of the world.
Posted by Brian McClendon, Vice President, Geo
No official price tag given either.. though unofficial sources are said to indicate it apparently may have been for around US$1.1 billion. But at least we do know that the development team will stay in Israel and operate separately from Google, ominously modified a little by the words for now.
So another successful Israeli company heads for the exits; a pity.