Google Reportedly Bidding $1 Billion for Waze
According to sources from Bloomberg
, Google is looking to throw in a $1 billion bid for Waze, possibly stirring a bidding war between the search giant and Facebook, which as of right now is also rumored to be eyeing an acquisition of the social mapping service. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Waze is managing “expressions of interest” from multiple parties, and is targeting a selling price of at least $1 billion. Alternatively, the firm may seek venture capital financing in order to stay independent.
For those of you who have been following the story, a report earlier in the month claimed Facebook was in talks to possibly pick up Waze, with the purchase positioning the social network to enter an already cramped market led by Google Maps. Facebook’s bid was also supposedly roughly $1 billion. The publication notes that Google may possibly be looking to block Facebook from entering the mapping game.
The deal is far from being reached and talks may fall apart as Waze’s user base is substantial enough to raise funding privately. As of April, Waze had over 40 million people using its service, a number that is quite substantial given its time in the market compared to its competitors.
As for Waze’s existing investors, the company managed to successfully raise $30 million in a 2011 funding round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Horizons Ventures Hong Kong. Microsoft is supposedly also an investor as is Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Venture Capital and BlueRun Ventures.
For those of you who haven’t used the app, it is free to download from the App Store and features automatic reporting of traffic data based on the input user’s provide. Social aspects include community-generated real-time routing, live maps and an accident reporting system, among other standard navigation features. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the deal as only time will tell.