Business

Google buys sat-nav app for over $1billion


Google is continuing its bid for world domination, and have bought sat-nav app Waze for a reported $1.3billion (£835m).

Waze, an app that combines online maps with updates from users, was founded four years ago in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

According to Reuters, Google have purchased the app, but has not disclosed any financial terms of the deal. It has also been reported that Apple and Facebook had also made bids for the app.

Online rumours suggest that Apple was looking for a new map app, after the disastrous launch of Apple Maps as part of their latest update.

A statement on Google’s official blog said the Waze team and current users had created ‘a great source of timely road corrections and updates’.

The app essentially turns a smartphone into a web-based community GPS. It combines elements of social media, with the traditional GPS map systems that smartphone users have come to know and love.

The app also includes adverts based on the users location. For example, an ad for Taco Bell may appear to American users, and the user can use the app to navigate to their local branch of Taco Bell, by pushing only one button.

Users update the app with real time information about traffic jams, road works and accidents, allowing other users to see the map and incidents in real time.

Waze has around 47 million users worldwide. The company’s chief executive Noam Bardin and a number of employees are based in California, but the rest of the staff, around 90 people in total, remain at the company headquarters in Israel.

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