Tags: Google | Buy | Waze | Bid War

Google Said to Mull Buying Waze Presaging Possible Bid War

Friday, 24 May 2013 10:16 AM

Google Inc., maker of the Android operating system, is considering buying map-software provider Waze Inc., setting up a possible bidding war with Facebook Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Palo Alto, California-based startup might also remain independent, instead seeking to raise a round of venture capital financing, the people said.

As consumers gravitate toward mobile devices away from laptops and desktops, Facebook, Google and other companies are beefing up efforts to court customers on the go. The potential bidding tussle for Waze, which uses information from online communities to improve driving directions, reflects the widening importance of maps on smartphones and other handheld gadgets.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, has held talks to buy Waze for as much as $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, and other large tech companies have approached Waze about a possible deal since the Facebook talks became public, the people said.

None of the bidders is close to clinching a deal and the talks may fall apart, they said. Waze may also walk away from the discussions and use more venture backing to expand its mapping program, which has more than 40 million users.

Apple, Microsoft

Google has a widely used mapping tool and could adopt Waze’s technology to add social features to the software. A takeover would also eliminate a competitive threat and keep the startup out of the hands of another company.

Apple Inc., which distributes a competing mapping tool, is not currently part of the discussions, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Waze’s investors include Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp., people said. Waze raised $30 million in 2011 in a funding round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures Hong Kong. Earlier investors include Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Venture Capital in Israel and BlueRun Ventures in Silicon Valley.

Julie Mossler, a spokeswoman for Waze, declined to comment yesterday.

Waze announced a partnership with IMS Internet Media Services in April to expand in Latin America. Waze’s mobile app alerts users to potential traffic slowdowns or suggests alternative ways to reach destinations. The service also notifies drivers of road work, speed traps other potential hazards, using input from users.

Waze, a free service, generates revenue via location-based advertising. Its tools are also available over the Web.

Google’s shares fell less than 1 percent to $878.04 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. The stock had advanced 25 percent this year through yesterday, compared with a 16 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Companies
Google Inc., maker of the Android operating system, is considering buying map-software provider Waze Inc., setting up a possible bidding war with Facebook Inc., people familiar with the matter said. Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is...
Google,Buy,Waze,Bid War
467
2013-16-24
Friday, 24 May 2013 10:16 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved