Earlier this week, TechCrunch reporter Mike Butcher wrote that Apple was in talks to acquire the startup. Venture capitalist MG Siegler, a TechCrunch contributor, debunked that report the next day, saying the deal "hit a roadblock: reality" while acknowledging it was likely that the companies had low-level talks.
Today, The Next Web's Matt Brian says there's truth to both reports. No, the acquisition isn't happening, but yes, Apple made Waze a sizeable offer.
According to Brian's sources, Waze walked away from the deal because it wasn't pleased with the price. A Newsgeek report pegged Apple's offer at $500 million—the same price The Next Web's sources suggested Apple had offered and TechCrunch initially reported. They told Brian that Waze, most recently valued by investors at $200 million, wanted at least $750 million, and investors were pushing for an even higher $1 billion deal.
Brian says Waze has had other acquisition offers within the last year and turned them down, too, in hopes of building a really big business. Waze has between 20 and 30 million users who use it to scout out nearby traffic in real time, but it generated less than $1 million last year. Its data helps fill out geographic maps with real-world driving conditions. Waze is headquartered in Israel and has raised $67 million to date.
Apple was interested in acquiring the company to improve its Apple Maps experience. It's also reportedly been talking to Foursquare, a service that Apple executive Eddy Cue, who recently took charge of Apple Maps after a botched launch, is actively using.
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