MANILA, Philippines – Google on Tuesday, June 11, announced the acquisition of Waze, a popular crowd-sourced map app designed in Israel.
The US Internet search giant did not reveal the price of the acquisition, but Israeli media over the weekend estimated the deal was worth more than $1 billion.
“To help you outsmart traffic, today we’re excited to announce we’ve closed the acquisition of Waze,” said Brian McClendon, vice president of Google’s Geo products, which includes Google Maps, Earth and Street View.
In its blog, Google promised the best of both worlds with the marriage of Waze’s crowd-sourced information and Google Maps.
Waze, which claims more than 40 million users, describes itself as an app bringing together “the world’s largest community of drivers who work together to fight traffic, and save time and gas money on their daily commute.”
“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,” said Google.
“This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together to find the best routes from home to work, every day.”
McClendon said that Waze‘s development team would remain in Israel and operate separately “for now.” Apple and Facebook were also reportedly in talks to acquire the start-up, but negotiations fell through because Waze wants to keep its local staff. -with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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