Google continues its spending spree, and has acquired popular map-software provider Waze – in a deal rumoured to be valued at $1.3 billion. Google has been pursuing Waze since last month. Facebook purportedly offered Waze almost $1 billion, to bolster its own mobile strategy. Apple was also rumoured to be interested in the Israeli-based company, although Apple CEO Tim Cook officially denied it in his D11 live interview last month.
With the acquisition Google will look to secure its supremacy in maps, to complement in its core business in search and mobile advertising.
Waze is a crowd-sourced navigation service with close to 50 million users worldwide. Waze is available on iOS and Android and is reportedly coming to BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone platforms.
In its official blog, Google cited that they are excited about the prospects of enhancing Google Maps with traffic update features by Waze, and on the other hand enhancing Waze’s Google search capabilities.
Google also said that it will work closely with the vibrant Waze community to ensure that Waze grows and improves.
The Waze product development will remain in Israel and operate separately from the mothership.
Are you a Waze user? How do you feel about the acquisition?