Google is very close to inking a deal to acquire crowd-sourced navigation app Waze. Rumours have been flying about for the last couple of weeks but it seems it’s happening now, reports Globes.
Though nothing has been finalised on paper, reports claim that an announcement could come as early as Tuesday. According to Globes’ report, the deal could reach the sum of US$1.3-billion, a significant amount for the Israeli-based startup.
This deal has been an exciting one as other big tech companies such as Apple and Facebook also showed interest in the startup. Facebook was reported to have sent executives to Israel but unfortunately backed down on the deal because of the price tag.
Waze has almost 50-million users of which 32% are active. The company has 80-employees and two offices, one Israel and one in Silicon Valley. Waze is available for download and use anywhere in the world, but while some countries have a full basemap, other countries still require users to record the roads and edit the maps — making it a truly crowdsourced platform.
In 2010, the company raised US$25-million in a second round of funding. Last year, the company rolled out its monetisation plan through location-based advertising and expansion into Asia, as well raising an additional US$30-million in financing.
“The deal will turn some Waze founders into multimillionaires. CTO Ehud Shabtai will earn US$78-million, president Uri Levine will earn US$38-million, VP R&D Amir Shinar and his brother Gili will earn US$65-million,” reports Globes.
Integrating Waze with its current mapping software would make Google formidable in the mapping space. Waze unlike other navigation software is available on multiple devices as well as in-car systems.
Neither company has commented yet on the reports.