Waze is a mapping and navigation app for iOS and Android.
(Photo: Waze Inc)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google mapped out a key strategy with its $1 billion acquisition of map-software provider Waze on Tuesday.
"I am excited to announce today that we have accepted an offer to join Google," Waze CEO Noam Bardin said in a blog post Tuesday morning.
Google would not comment beyond its own blog post announcing the deal, but a source told USA TODAY the deal's amount. The source asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the search-engine giant.
Google has mulled a deal with Waze since late May, according to Bloomberg News. The acquisition plan was first reported Monday by Globes, an Israeli financial daily. It listed the price as $1.3 billion. (Waze was started in Israel and moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley.)
Facebook reportedly was also interested in acquiring Waze, according to Reuters reports.
The move helps Google to buttress its mapping tool and compete with Apple, Facebook, Nokia and others as more consumers eschew PCs in favor of smartphones and tablets.
"Increasingly, mobile maps will be a portal to access content such as ratings, reviews and services from all over the world," says Julie Ask, a tech analyst at market researcher Forrester. "The amount of time and engagement of consumers will only go up in time as maps develop."
Waze's mobile app solicits input from about 50 million users to improve directions and display traffic and road-hazard details.
Waze raised $30 million in 2011 in a funding round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's Horizons Ventures Hong Kong.
"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?' " Bardin said in Tuesday's post. "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."
An acquisition of Waze will likely be scrutinized by U.S. regulators.
Jon Swartz, USA TODAY