Google has acquired Israeli location based service startup Waze for an undisclosed amount. In a blogpost, Google states that the Waze product development team will continue to work in Israel and will operate separately for now. While Google has not disclosed the exact amount for which it acquired the company, Israeli tech blog GeekTime puts the final number at $1.1 billion of which $1.03 billion will be transferred in cash directly to the company and its stockholders and $100 million will be awarded to employees based on performance. Launched in 2007, Waze had raised $67 million in funding from Blue Run Ventures, Magma, Vertex, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and Horizon Ventures. Waze is a social traffic & navigation app which provides directions to drivers. In return, Waze collects data from user's GPS to generate traffic data in real time. Besides this, Waze users can also share road reports on accidents, police traps, or any other kind of natural hazards on its way. Waze has around 50 million users. What this means: Google has already heavily invested in its location based navigation service Google Maps to provide maps, directions, street view, real-time traffic information, among others. Following Waze acquisition, Google plans to integrate its real time traffic information into Google Maps real time traffic information. Since the data is crowd-sourced by Waze, we believe it will improve traffic information drastically. While a blogpost by Waze states that it will be working with the Google Maps team to enhance its search capabilities. While Waze, which is completely…
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