Thursday, June 13, 2013

Google Acquires Crowdsourced Navigation App "Waze" Expanding Into Mobile Mapping

Google has acquired Waze, a high tech Israeli navigation software company for $1.03B. Waze’s smartphone application combines GPS capabilities with social networking features, which allows real time updates to traffic reports, road congestion, directions, speed traps and more by its intelligent use of crowdsourcing big data. UASBIG views this acquisition positively as a sale to Google can give Waze a greater ability to monetize its customer base, which currently consists of nearly 50MM users. Also the move is likely to lead to navigation updates to Google’s current platform which will further extend Google’s lead over rivals- most notably Apple in the navigation space. The stock was relatively flat off the news and is trading currently around the levels we purchased it. We reiterate our buy thesis for Google with conviction that this acquisition will help increase advertising revenue, which was the prominent catalyst to our investment thesis. 

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