US: Google has finalised its acquisition of the crowdsourced navigation and traffic app Waze. Waze is a free app that uses the input of trusted community members to update maps in real time to help other users avoid delays and congestion.
For now it looks like the Waze app will remain independent, bolstered by Google’s search capabilities, while Google Maps will kick it up a notch by utilizing Waze’s real-time, crowdsourced traffic update features, which it rolled out in February.
Waze CEO Noam Bardin elaborated in a blog post, “Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization,” Bardim wrote. The Waze team decided that partnering with Google would better serve the Waze community than remaining independent and eventually IPO-ing, which “often shifts attention to bankers, lawyers and the happiness of Wall Street.”
Waze has been the object of numerous acquisition rumors over the past few months. Besides Google, other tech giants like Facebook and Apple reportedly courted the startup.