updated 12:44 pm EDT, Thu May 9, 2013
Crowdsourced navigation app may become part of Facebook mobile
Crowdsourced traffic and navigation app service Waze may be acquired by Facebook, according to a report. The discussions between Waze and Facebook come months after a possible acquisition offer from Apple and appears to be reaching the same financial levels as the billion-dollar Instagram deal in April last year.
The report by Calcalist claims the discussions have been going on for the last six months, and a period of due diligence is under way. It is estimated that the deal is worth between $800 million and $1 billion, with sources of TechCrunch apparently confirming the pricing, with the main issue being whether Waze should be kept in Israel or moved to the United States, similar to the acquisitions of Snaptu and Face.com.
The combination of Waze and Facebook doesn't initially appear to be that useful to either company, as Facebook does not currently offer a mapping product for Waze to work upon, but the social network may be attracted to it as part of its ongoing push into the mobile space.
The earlier attempt by Apple to pick up Waze allegedly reached the point where the offer reached $500 million, but Waze wanted around $750 million. Reports at the time suggested the company was valued at $200 million during its last funding round, with investors aiming for a $1 billion buyout. The attempted acquisition was a logical one at the time, with some Waze data being used in iOS 6 Maps.