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Is Facebook Purchasing Social Mapping App, Waze, For $1 Billion?

Waze Facebook may be in the works of making another billion-dollar acquisition. This time, to increase the social networks mobile efforts – according to three reports in the Israeli press at Calcalist and sister publication Ynet and The Marker (all in Hebrew), Facebook has approached Waze, the social mapping and traffic mobile app. 

Calcalist values the deal between $800 million and $1 billion. The negotiations between the social network and crowdsourced mapping app apparently began six months ago, according to Business Insider.

Facebook and Waze have already come back with flat non-responses. “We do not comment on rumors or speculation about the business,” a spokesperson at Waze told TechCrunch. The company tells Business Insider that it currently has over 47 million active users — more than double what it had in July last year when it reported 20 million.Waze

“We won’t comment on speculation,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

However, if the rumors end up being true, the addition of Waze to Facebook could pose some questions. Will the social network keep Waze in Israel or take it to the U.S., as Facebook did with two previous Israel acqusitions. Those acquisitions were of feature phone interface developer Snaptu, bought for up to $70 million in March 2011, and facial recognition specialist, bought in June 2012 for $50-60 million.

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Facebook has had a rising interest and effort towards the networks mobile business, which currently has 751 monthly active users as of March 31, 2013, an increase of 54% year-over-year.

Recently, Facebook has unveiled Facebook Home on the mobile front. In addition, the social network has been working on a way to incorporate business around location based check-ins, including local deals. An app like Waze could fit in with that idea, considering their center around social networking and crowd-sourcing of information.

Source: Business Insider, TechCrunch

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