Why it makes sense for Apple to acquire mapping solution Waze



Update #2, Jan. 03: TechCrunch’s MG Siegler just posted a report claiming the rumor of Apple acquiring Waze for up to $750m was little more than a rumor. While citing “multiple sources close to the situation,” Siegler claimed “There is no deal is happening. At least not now or anytime soon.” A little birdie told Cnet the same thing.

That’s huge news for a few reasons: Apple rarely makes startup acquisitions — Waze is a hot startup with good buzz — the Apple Maps fiasco — the list goes on. But there’s just one little problem: the deal isn’t actually happening.

That information comes from multiple sources close to the situation. And while Mike Butcher also claimed multiple sources in his original post, you’ll note that he was quick to qualify the information as a “rumor”

Update: Butcher later updated the post to add that another source confirmed Apple is in advanced negotiations with Waze to purchase the company for a figure ranging from $400M to $750M:

Another source confirms that negotiations are advanced, but Waze wants $750M and Apple is willing to do $400M plus $100m in incentives. Waze had less than $1M in revenues last year (primarily from ads). Negotiations may take awhile.

Following rumors that Apple may partner with Foursquare to better its mapping experience, Mike Butcher of TechCrunch offers a great case as to why Apple may purchase social sat-nav smartphone app Waze. For those unfamiliar, Waze is a popular mapping solution in the United Kingdom, Asia, and Middle East (areas where Apple is having trouble with its in-house Maps). Here’s how Apple could benefit:

Because Waze maps are built on the location of moving cars, it’s far more accurate than check-in apps. Outside of Google’s project to map cities with Streetview cars – something which has taken years to complete – and the real-world mapping undertaken by volunteers on the Open Streetmaps open source project, there has been little to match Waze’s approach. 

It would also cost Apple northwards of $500M+ to buy Foursquare (which has raised $71 million is known to be raising another round), and gain, what? The location of restaurants, bars and airports? Given Waze has raised $67 million, Apple could acquire far better mapping data and a real driving app.


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