Why Google Was Smart to Buy Waze (Update 1)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The battle for Waze is finally over, and it's Google
Waze, the Israeli-based geo-location said it was being acquired by the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google though terms were not disclosed. (It's been reported the deal was worth between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion). Google already has a very strong presence in mapping with its popular Google Maps application, but Waze brings a whole new level of data to Google, a company that thrives on data crunching. Waze is powered by its 50 million users, who update in real-time, traffic, accidents and other road conditions useful for drivers.
With the acquisition, Google not only gets the maps aspect, but since Waze is powered by its users, Google can continue to expand its Google+ social network, tying in more people to its products and services. It allows Google to strengthen its hold in mapping, while keeping Facebook and Apple at bay in maps.
Google is essentially a giant venture capital company backed by the advertising business. Acquiring Waze allows it to continue to strengthen the advertising business via geo-location. If Google knows where you are, it could target an ad for a restaurant or an activity close by, especially if you are stuck in traffic.
Waze CEO Noam Bardin wrote in the blog discussing the acquisition that the company had evaluated many options on a exit strategy, "and believe Google is the best partner for Waze, our map editors, area managers, champs and nearly 50 million Wazers globally."
Maps have become an important aspect for technology companies to have with data becoming increasingly essential as companies try to learn more about their users. Whether you like it or not, Google knows your search history, what you're looking to buy and with Waze, can now better serve you ads based on where you are. That's a large reason why Facebook was also looking at Waze.