Thursday, 13 June 2013

Google to buy Waze for $1.3b

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Google to buy Waze for $1.3b

Reports about a possible sale of Waze are not new. Last year there were reports Apple wanted to buy Waze and in late August 2012, it was reported that Facebook was in talks to acquire the company. According to some reports, Facebook representatives arrived in Israel to meet Waze executives, but no deal was reached in the negotiations, apparently because of the price tag.
Another reason was that Waze insisted that its Israeli employees should continue working in Israel, which Facebook did not accept. Google has already made two acquisitions in Israel, and it has an office here, in contrast to Facebook, which closed most of the companies it acquired, including Israeli start-ups. Both previous Israeli acquisitions by Google were modest. Google acquired personalized Website gadget developer Labpixies for $25 million and interactive video-clip developer Quiksee for $10 million. Both acquisitions were in 2010.
In the past few months, there have been numerous reports that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) was interested in acquiring Waze. However, in an interview with "AllThingsD" at the D11 conference in late May, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple had not bid for Waze. He also stressed that use of Apple's map app was important, which was why the company was investing heavily in the product. “We screwed up," he admitted. "It’s greatly improved, but not there yet. We have more to do."
Waze was founded in 2009 and in October 2012, it announced a $30 million financing round from Horizons Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and iFund. The company has raised $67 million to date from Magma Venture Partners, Vertex Venture Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, BlueRun Ventures, Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT), and the investors in its 2012 financing round.
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