Popular mapping-app Waze has been a hot commodity in the tech world recently, fetching offers from Facebook and Apple along the $1 billion range. But it appears Google won the bidding war, for a cool $1.3 billion, according to a report from Israeli media.
Israel's Globes reports Google will keep the Israeli-based traffic and map start-up that boasts over 40 million users based out of Israel once the acquisition deal is finalized. Waze had received offers from Apple and Facebook but weren't married to either idea. Google offered slightly more money than Facebook and, according to Globes, Facebook wanted to move the Waze headquarters to the U.S. This was a deal breaker. Apple apparently wanted to use Waze as its Maps app replacement after last year's fiasco, but Waze wasn't interested in that, either.
So Waze is now in that elite billion dollar tech club with Tumblr and Instagram. (Where was Yahoo! during this billion dollar bidding? Isn't that their thing?) As our Rebecca Greenfield explained, Waze was commanding such a high price tag because of its dedicated following, data collection practices, and the crazy popularity of map apps. Waze is One-Direction popular with the American tech set, and is the go-to map app in Israel, so now Google will likely add its tech strength to make sure it reaches the top of the (app) charts here, too.