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

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in