Waze CEO hints at investors forcing the $1.15B Google deal
This past June, Google acquired a company called Waze for $1.15 billion. Waze is known for crowdsourcing data into a mobile GPS app. The data within the GPS app includes traffic backups, police hideouts, gas prices, etc. Waze CEO and co-founder Noam Bardin confirmed that the price of the acquisition was around $1.15 billion in a blog post. This is the first time that we have heard an official price confirmation. The deal was reportedly placed at a range of between around $800 million and $1.3 billion by various media outlets.
Bardin hinted that Waze sold due to pressure from investors:
“One of Waze’s mistakes was the valuation of its A round which significantly diluted the founders. Perhaps, had we held control of the company, as the Founders of Facebook, Google, Oracle or Microsoft had, Waze might still be an independent company today.” Waze raised over $60 million in funding since it started. from investors like BlueRun Ventures, Magma Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, and Horizons Ventures.
An investor even recommended that Waze shifted away from Google when it was a young company. Here is what Bardin wrote in the blog post about that:
“When Google came out with free Turn-by-Turn navigation, stealing our thunder, the response of our Israeli investors was that we should focus on Singapore or Romania instead of the US… to avoid the inevitable confrontation. We had a moment of fear and took our eyes off the ball, costing us valuable time.
John [Malloy of Blue Run Ventures], having lived through Paypal competing with eBay, gave us invaluable experience, something only a Unicorn grower would know, and helped steer us back on-track, getting us back to focusing on the US market and later success.”