Facebook close to acquiring navigation app Waze so it can sell ads while you drive

Facebook is reportedly very close to buying crowdsourced navigation app Waze for anywhere between $500 million and $1 billion.

The Facebook rumour mill is churning with reports that Zuckerberg and company are inching closer to sealing the deal on a purchase of the popular crowdsourced navigation app, Waze.

Waze has been the subject of a bidding war between both Apple and Facebook over the past year. The Israeli startup reportedly turned down a US$300 million bid from Facebook only six months ago, and a $500 million bid from Apple just this past January.

According to several reports in the Israeli and American press, Facebook is in final negotiations to sealing the deal that may be worth anywhere between$500 million and $1 billion, depending on whose sources you believe.

The Waze MacGuffin

Waze would prove to be a valuable acquisition for both Apple and Facebook. From Cupertino's point of view, the popular app, which currently boasts 47 million active users--double what it had just last year--could help erase the stain of the great Apple Maps fiasco of 2012 and give the company independence from mobile rival Google.

For Facebook's part, Waze would be a way to extend its social network into the automotive space. At the New York International Auto Show in March, Doug Frisbie, Facebook's head of automotive global marketing mentioned Waze by name as a prime example of the merging of the social web and automotive mobile experience. While that all sounds nice and good, FB is a for-profit enterprise and Waze would provide the company a new way to sell ads while you are in transit.

In the mobile maps game, Waze has secured a comfy second place only to Google in markets throughout Europe and North America. However, in developing nations such as Brazil, Uruguay, and Indonesia, the app has surpassed the mighty Google Maps by far. A rising segment of the globe's population has skipped the desktop rungs of the digital ladder and bolted full steam into the mobile age. An app like Waze can be a new bridge for big tech companies looking to court this rising class.

If the Waze acquisition goes through, it will be Facebook's third major Israeli acquisition in as many years. In 2011, FB snapped up social bundling app Snaptu for $70 million, and in 2012 it purchased facial recognition software firm Face.com for $60 million. In both those instances, Facebook relocated these companies and employees to headquarters in San Francisco, New York, and London.

According to reports from Forbes and the Israeli paper Haaretz, one of the last sticking points is overcoming Waze's wish to keep the R&D shop in the middle east.

If all the rumours are to be believed (and they're all still rumours at this point), we should see if the two techy lovebirds can make it official in very the near future.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Why doing your job well is the key to innovation

The words ‘power company’ and ‘innovation’ probably don’t seem like a natural combination. In fact, when I first went for a marketing role with an electricity company, I semi-dreaded the work I thought I’d be doing.

Catherine Anderson

Head of marketing, Powershop Australia

The great unlearning: How brands can assist with the adoption of voice

Mainstream adoption of voice technology will be all about what consumers are learning not to do.

Ash Mustchin

Director, digital and experiences, Principals

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience

According to CMO’s State of the CMO 2017 research, 83 per cent of CMOs believe customer experience to be central to their role. An interesting stat considering few of us experience great brand experiences.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

It is indeed great and nice article, but I think the virtual reality, user-generated contents and the Chat bots will dominate the digital...

Almesh

Predictions: 8 digital marketing trends for 2018

Read more

Amazing work Nadia. I believe chatbots still have ways to go and are still in Generation 1, the exciting future of transactional and conv...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

Climate Council pitches at youth engagement with chatbot debut

Read more

This is a great read. Chatbots are going to be the face of customers. Every sector is investing time and money in designing intelligent b...

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

From tacos to HR, chatbots make it personal

Read more

Very interesting article about chatbots. Chatbots are growing day by day and emerging winners in all the industries including Healthcare....

Giridhar Prathap Reddy

​Chatbots, messaging and refining the art of mobile commerce

Read more

'to lesson screen time'LOL someone needs a lesson on how to lessen typos.

Andrew Ward

Golden Circles invests in content play to drive brand purpose

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in