Google has acquired Waze, free mobile navigation application for around $1.1 Billion. This is a big ticket purchase for this year by the tech company after Yahoo’s tumblr acquisition. There has been rumors of Facebook going for this purchase but it has been confirmed that Google finally purchased it. Waze’s social oriented traffic app has generated a lot of map data. Waze would add crowd sourced info to the Google traffic updates with real time updates. This is an Israeli based company. Here is the official release from Google on its blog.
Some of the reasons How Waze would benefit Google are
1) Waze is a crowd-sourced mapping app with a member base of 50 million. This strong community provides real-time updates of traffic, accidents & route updates. This coupled with Google maps is a big USP for Google maps.
2) Google is the king of maps. Apple which launched maps, had problems associated with it & is yet to gain wide popularity.
3) Can keep competitors away with this prized acquisition.
4) Google is still catching up in the social networking space & Waze gives a strong community of around 50 million members
5) Facebook is yet to make a mark in the maps business. With mobile browsing booming, Waze would help Google gain a strong hold in Mobile space