Google has announced its aquisition of the popular Israeli navigation app WAZE. At an estimated $1.1-1.3 Billion, the deal is one of the top acquisitions of an Israeli company ever. It was reported that WAZE’s management made efforts to see to it that the Company’s activities remain in Israel, at least for the coming years.
Here’s what Google VP Brian McClendon, had to say on the deal in Google’s official blog: 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.
Peter Cohan reflected in Forbes on the four main reasons that Google made the aquisition: (1) WAZE’s user engagement – its 50 million users worldwide are great advocates, thanks in part to its “sharing” culture, (2) to thwart the competition by keeping WAZE out of the hands of Facebook and Apple (3) to add the WAZE features Google lacks, like reporting traffice accidents and (4) to use WAZE as an alternative to Google Maps.
The deal was also covered by the New York Times, which noted that the acquisition highlights the increasing importance of location data in our on-the-go lives, whether it is in finding a place to eat or navigating an unfamiliar road.
For the full Forbes article click here.
For the full New York Times article click here.
For the TechCrunch article on the acquisition click here.