Google Buys Mapping Service Waze

Waze is popular on both Android and iPhone

Waze is popular on both Android and iPhone

Israeli mapping service Waze has a small, but loyal following of between 38 and 50 million users depending on who you ask. Today, they’re bringing their act to Mountain View, so to speak. They’ve accepted an offer to be acquired by Google. Official financial terms were not announced, but most news sources agree on a $1.3 billion figure. Waze will report to Google Maps, but for the time being will remain independent. Waze and Google Maps will remain independent, but there will be two-way transfers of technology and ideas. While that’s the company line, acquisitions rarely stay independent in the long term.

Here’s what Waze CEO Noam Bardin had to say on the buyout.

Dear Wazers,

I am excited to announce today that we have accepted an offer to join Google. I’d like to share some information about what this means for Waze.

Larry Page, Brian McClendon and the Google Maps teams have been following our progress closely and are excited about what we’ve accomplished. They share our vision of a global mapping service, updated in real time by local communities, and wish to help us accelerate. We are excited about the prospect of working with the Google Maps team to enhance our search capabilities and to join them in their ongoing efforts to build the best map of the world.

Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same. The same Waze people will continue to collaborate with you, and we will continue to innovate our product and services, making them more social, functional and helpful for everyday drivers. Our employees, managers, founders and I are all committed to our vision for many years to come.

Why not stay completely independent? We asked ourselves: “Will Waze still be a fun project to participate in, and a fun place to work, as a stand-alone public company?” Choosing the path of an IPO often shifts attention to bankers, lawyers and the happiness of Wall Street, and we decided we’d rather spend our time with you, the Waze community. Google is committed to help us achieve our common goal and provide us with the independence and resources we need to succeed. We evaluated many options and believe Google is the best partner for Waze, our map editors, area managers, champs and nearly 50 million Wazers globally.

Together, we can accelerate our mission to outsmart traffic. We will continue to make a real impact on drivers globally, helping them save time and money while making everyone’s daily commute a bit more efficient and fun.

So, it’s back to work for us with some great new colleagues and resources to enhance our project. Thank you for your participation in shaping Waze to what it is today, and we look forward to continuing to build out Waze together with you.

See you on the road,
Noam

Comments

  1. Janey says

    *deletes Waze app*

    Add me to the list of users that is not happy about this. After showing us what a poor track record they have with privacy, I don’t use anything Google when I can avoid it. Apple has its quirks too,don’t get me wrong, but I’m far less trusting of Google.

    And with the way they have been trying to shove Google+ into everything, I’m sure the days of the Waze app are numbered anyway.

    Besides, Apple Maps has been just fine for me.