Israeli Start Up Social Mapping Company Waze Seeks to Grow User Base to 70 Million
As far as navigation apps go, nothing is more popular with smartphone users than Waze. At the end of 2012 the social mapping service counted 34 million users. While most people simply launch their Waze app without much thought in order to get from point A to point B, many don’t know that it is an Israeli company.
Waze Mobile Ltd is in fact headquartered in Raanana, Israel with a US office in Palo Alto, CA in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The CEO of Waze Noam Bardin is rumored to have turned down an offer by Apple to buy the company for a reported $500 million. While that may seem like a lot of cash, let’s not forget that Facebook bought Instagram (a company with no revenue and 10 employees) for a cool $1 billion making the offer to buy Waze seem extremely undervalued. The conventional wisdom is that Apple needs Waze more than the reverse. As a torrent of negative reviews about Apple Maps spread across the web, the company scrambled to find partners that could save its failed app.
As for Waze, their goal is to grow the number of registered users to 70 million by the end of 2013. While no one is quite sure how Waze will accomplish this, the simple fact that more and more people are turning in old ‘feature phones’ for smartphones means their potential audience will grow at a very fast rate.
If they achieve this lofty target they will be able to exploit the huge user base to create some real revenue and either go public or sell for a much higher price.