In its financial quarterly report submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Google stated that it paid $966 million for the social-based GPS service Waze Limited. The search engine giant announced the acquisition on June 11, but refrained from providing financial specifics. Many reports assumed Google shelled out $1 billion USD, which obviously wasn't too far off the mark.
"We’re excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhancing Waze with Google’s search capabilities," the company said. "We’ll also work closely with the vibrant Waze community, who are the DNA of this app, to ensure they have what’s needed to grow and prosper."
Google said on Thursday that the acquisition is expected to "enhance our customer's user experience by offering real time traffic information to users' daily navigation needs." The company snapped up Waze after reports that Apple and Facebook were interested in the app. The move wasn't all that surprising given that Google's social attempt for Google Maps, aka Latitude which will be shut down as of August 9, never really caught on.
Wave, however, got it right. It uses satellite signals from members' smartphones to generate maps and traffic data, offering community-edited maps, traffic jams, road hazards, accidents and even speed traps – all supplied by other drivers in real time. The free service also helps users find the cheapest, closest gas stations near their current location whether it's at home or out-of-town.
"With community-generated maps and real-time traffic, you'll always get the best route to your destination," reads the app description. "By simply driving around with Waze open, you're already contributing tons of real-time traffic & road info to your local driving community. Waze makes it fun and simple to meet up and coordinate with friends on the road. Connect to Facebook to see friends also headed to your destination."
The Waze app is available on Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. It's completely free and driven by its 47 million users. Google Play reports that the number of installs currently range from 10 million to 50 million.
Thursday's report to the SEC and Google's quarterly report filed in April also show that Google purchased seven other smaller firms for a total of $53 million during that quarter.