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Facebook in talks to buy Israeli navigation startup Waze for up to $1 billion

May 09, 2013 5:38 am

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There’s no better news for a startup than a call from Facebook, but Waze’s acquisition was imminent after it emerged as one of the most innovative startups in digital mapping, one of travel’s key battlegrounds this year.

— Samantha Shankman

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Robert Gailbraith  / Reuters

The Facebook logo is pictured in the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California January 29, 2013. Robert Gailbraith / Reuters


Facebook Inc is in advanced talks to acquire Israeli mobile satellite navigation start-up Waze for $800 million to $1 billion, business daily Calcalist reported on Thursday.

Due diligence is underway after a term sheet was signed, Calcalist said, adding that talks began six months ago.

Waze uses satellite signals from members’ smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, which it then shares with other users, offering real-time traffic info.

Officials at Waze declined to comment on the report.

Waze and Facebook partnered in October 2012 when Waze released its updated version that allows users to share their drive with their Facebook friends.

This would be Facebook’s third acquisition in Israel. It bought Snaptu in 2011 for $70 million and Face.com in 2012 for $60 million.

In the last year, Waze tripled its user base to 45 million and in March alone, 1.5 million users downloaded the free mobile navigation app, Calcalist said.

Reporting by Tova Cohen. Editing by David Cowell.

Copyright (2013) Thomson Reuters.

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