Waze would remain as a separate entity following the acquisition
Google is reportedly close to acquiring Israel-based mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze for about $1.3bn, potentially thumping rival offers for the mapping start-up.
As part of the deal, which has not yet been finalised, Google has agreed not to suspend Waze employees at its development centre in Israel, and would enable the start-up to continue its development in the Google office for at least three years.
Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that the deal would also keep Waze CEO Noam Bardin at the helm of the firm and would retain its brand without being integrated into Google.
In May 2013, Facebook was in talks to acquire Waze for up to $1bn, while Apple was also reported to be mulling a bid for Waze during early 2013.
The start-up deploys satellite signals from members’ smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, while shares with other users to provide real-time traffic information.
Established four-years ago, the mobile satellite navigation start-up has 47 million users and raised $67m in funding from firms, such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Blue Run Ventures and Qualcomm.