Google buys social sat-nav Waze for $1.3bn


Google has bought crowd-sourced navigation app Waze for a reported $1.3bn (£835m), as the firm looks to extend its sat-nav tools.

Watch this video from Bloomberg discussing the deal here:


Waze, based in Tel Aviv, combines online maps with updates from other users about traffic jams, road works and accidents.

The app also attracted interest from Google’s rivals Facebook and Apple.

According to Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Google agreed not to lay off Waze workers at its development centre in Israel, and will allow the company to continue its development in Israel "for at least three years."

According to the report, the conditions of the deal will keep Waze CEO Noam Bardin at the helm of the company, and Waze will retain its brand and won't be integrated into Google.

The search giant reportedly paid $1.3bn, according to Reuters, although the firm did not disclose the financial terms for the deal.

The takeover could help Google improve the accuracy of its own navigation system, Google Maps.

A statement on Google's official blog said the Waze team and current users had "created a great source of timely road corrections and updates".

Waze was founded four years ago, and now has 47 million users worldwide. A few employees are based in Waze's US headquarters in Palo Alto, California, but the majority of the staff - about 90 employees - are in Israel.

Read the official Google blog here

Watch this Waze video explaining how the service works here:

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