Google And Facebook Each Looking To Acquire Waze

Image via Flickr/ Joi Ito

Facebook may have offered $1 billion to purchase mapping app Waze, but the Israel company is holding out for more, especially now that Google has entered the picture. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Waze is now fielding offers from multiple parties and is now seeking more than $1 billion, and if it doesn’t find the right offer, the startup could also remain independent, seeking outside financing from venture capitalists.

Image via Waze

Image via Waze

Called the Facebook for drivers, Waze, founded in 2007, offers a system that incents drivers to share traffic updates through the app. For example, if one user is stuck in traffic, he or she can post the update through Waze and other drivers will know to avoid the particular route. The company relies on tracking users to build its mapping database. The more users share, the more accurate Waze’s maps become. The company currently boasts more than 47 million active users—an increase from 20 million in July 2012.

Facebook and Google could both benefit greatly from the acquisition, however, as more users primarily rely on mobile devices rather than laptops and desktops. Since Waze would beef up both company’s mapping applications for traveling customers, there is definitely potential for a bidding war. Integrating Waze’s technology could enhance Facebook’s existing check-in and location services. And although Google already boasts its own highly-popular mapping tool, Waze’s technology could add social features to its software. And both companies may want to prevent a competitor from acquiring the technology in the future.