Source are said to have spoken to Globes – Israel’s Business Arena. They have been told that Google will acquire Waze Ltd for a cool $1.3 billion. The Israeli navigation app and traffic report start-up will be taken over after months of reports that the deal was underway. There were also rumours that Facebook were interested in a takeover.
Waze has almost 50 million users already and this has peaked the interest of search engine giant Google.
Last year reports filtered out that Apple were interested in buying Waze and then Facebook were said to be in talks about a takeover. Some reports even indicated that Facebook bosses arrived in Israel to meet Waze executives, however it proved that the price was too high at the time.
Globes say that Waze wanted their employees to stay in Israel, which Facebook were said not to accept. Google however have acquisitions in Israel along with an office.
Apple were said to be involved in discussions however Tim Cook spoke out at the AllThingsD conference in late May saying they had not made a bid for Waze. He said that Apple were investing heavily in improved their own Map application. ‘We screwed up’ he said ‘Its greatly improved, but not there yet. We have more to do.’ This would suggest Apple want to do their own thing, rather than acquire another company to help.
Waze was founded in 2009 and has raised $67 million to date. The deal with Google will turn some of the founders into multimillionaires. Globes say ” CTO Ehud Shabtai will earn $78 million, president Uri Levine will earn $38 million, VP R&D Amir Shinar and his brother Gili will earn $65 million.”
Kitguru says: It may be pocket change for Google, but Waze founders will be more than happy with the deal.