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May 24, 2016 / 16 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Waze’

Google to Buy Waze for $1.3 Billion

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Google will fork out $1.3 billion to buy the Israeli-based Waze social-friendly navigation app, the Hebrew-language Globes business newspaper reported Sunday. Waze’s staff reportedly will remain in Raanana.

Facebook reportedly was in front of the lineup to buy Waze, but Waze rejected the condition that its staff be transferred to the United States. Waze may also have been holding out for more money, and Google came up with the right price.

Apple had been rumored to be a potential bidder, but Apple CEO Tim Cook denied those reports.

Waze has soared in popularity, with more than 50 million users around the world, and that number is growing every day.

Google has shown that it loves Israel. In 2010, it bought up website gadget developer LabPixies for $25 million and interactive video-clip developer QuikSee for $10 million, and has set up a Google office here. Facebook, on the other hand, has closed down the Israeli operations of most of the companies it bought up.

The Waze app allows drivers using smartphone and tablet to share information on driving times and traffic situations, as well as the location of police radar traps, accidents and hazardous conditions. Based on user-shared information, it helps users find the fastest path to their destination taking into account traffic conditions and preferred routes.

The $1.3 billion price tag is more than 40 times the $30 million of financing Waze received less than year ago, three years after it was founded.  Waze’s founders will be instant multi-millionaires thanks to the Google purchase, which has not been officially confirmed.

But no one has denied the purchase eitehr. Waze told Globes “no comment,” and Google said, “We don’t relate to rumors and speculation.”

The influx of another $1.3 billion into Israel is great news for the Finance Ministry and for anyone purchasing items whose prices are based on the dollar. It is terrible news for exporters and for Israelis whose salaries come from the United States.

The influx of dollars will put downward pressure on the shekel-dollar rate, which dropped last week to 3.61 shekels to the dollar.

Last month. Warren Buffet paid out $2 billion to buy the remaining shares of the Iscar precision tool maker, and PepsiCo and Coca Cola are now rumored to be offering approximately $2 billion for the Israeli SodaStream manufacturer of machines that convert tap water into soda, and which had become an international hit.

The influx of those big bucks, along with the prospects of Israel’s exporting gas and bringing in more foreign currency, has strengthened the shekel. It also is a major headache for corporations and wage earners whose profits and salaries are in dollars and then converted to shekels.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer has tried to battle the drop in the shekel-dollar rate by cutting the interest rate by a quarter of a percent, twice in two weeks, and announcing a $2 billion buying binge of dollars. So far, the “Fischer effect” has been negligible and the rate has continued to drop.

Following the report of the Google purchase of Waze, the exchange rate may drop again Monday when currency trading resumes, unless Fischer buys more dollars – lots of them.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Waze’s Demand to Keep Jobs in Israel Freezes Facebook’s Bid

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Israel’s Waze user-based social mapping and navigation startup seems to be too Zionist for Facebook, which has been trying to pay up to $1 billion for the company.

Facebook reportedly insists that the Waze management team re-locate to California from Israel, a condition that money can’t buy, at least not yet, according to the AllThingsD website.

Google, which has an R & D center in Israel, also has been interested in buying up Waze, but Apple denies similar rumors.

The purchase of Waze by Facebook would be logical because Waze’s success is based on drivers reporting to each other traffic conditions and radar traps. Facebook does not offer any mapping services.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Waze. Outsmarting Google and Facebook. Together.

Friday, May 24th, 2013

With the deal Facebook and Waze not yet closed, Google has reportedly jumped into the fray,  making a play for the Israeli start-up company, who’s opening bid is at $1 billion dollars.

There’s another alternative also on the table now, Waze turns down both giants, keeps its independence, and raises money with another round of venture capital.

Waze currently has 40 million registered users, and is generally considered to be best navigation program out there.

Any which way they go, Waze wins.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Is Waze on its Way Out of Israel?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

This week’s show kicks off with Malkah andYishai’s take on Facebook’s purchase of Israeli social media GPS hit WAZE and their battle over WAZE insistence their HQ remain in Israel. Should Waze stay in Israel, is that a value? Is Jewish nationalism a value in the globalized world? Plus, an update on the Fleisher family adventures in Jerusalem as Malkah deals with Yishai’s expanded overseas speaking schedule.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Waze Defeats Google

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Israel’s Waze user-run navigation service easily beat out Google’s app Tuesday night when the Israel Electric Corp. closed down the high-speed Ayalon Highway that runs through Tel Aviv.

Drivers using the Google app, which uses Android devices that broadcast information of traffic, found themselves being directed to the Ayalon even though it was closed, the Globes business website reported.

On the other hand, Waze, which operates on drivers’ reports, directed motorists to alternate routes.

The website noted that Waze learned its lesson from a disastrous mix-up four months when its system directed drivers to the Ayalon, which had been closed due to flooding. Waze later made it possible for drivers to report blocked roads, which saved the day on Tuesday.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Fischer Cuts Interest Rate and Says Bank to Buy 2 Billion Dollars

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer announced on Monday a surprise cut the prime interest rate as part of his battle to fight the appreciation of the shekel and help the economy to keep growing. The financial markets responded with the shekel-dollar rate rising more than 1.5 percent to the level of 3.61 shekels to the dollar.

Fischer announced the interest rate cut two weeks ahead of the usual end-of-the-month decision on whether to change the rate.

The dollar was worth only 3.55 shekels last week, dropping over the past several weeks from the relatively lofty level of 3.8 shekels to the dollar.

A lower shekel-dollar rate hurts exports because foreign buyers have to pay relatively more dollars than they would when the shekel is worth less. In addition, exporters make less money after converting foreign dollars into shekels.

Factors in the lower rate are the anticipation of tax revenue from Israel’s natural gas bonanza, which came on-stream several weeks ago, Warren Buffet’s $2 billion purchase of the remaining shares of the Israel-based Isracar tool-making company, the possibility of a $1 billion buyout of Waze by Facebook, and the relatively stable Israeli economy.

Fischer cut the rate by a quarter of a percent, with the new 1.5 percent rate making the shekel less attractive to foreign investors.

After the Bank of Israel’s two small purchases of dollars the past three weeks in an effort to keep speculators from forcing the shekel-dollar rate any lower, Fischer announced on Monday a massive dollar-buying plan on the scale of his purchases several years ago when the shekel-dollar rate sank to 3.30.

The Bank of Israel said the decisions to lower the rate and buy dollars was made “in light of the continued appreciation of the shekel, taking into account the start of natural gas production from the Tamar gas field, interest rate reductions by many central banks – notably the European Central Bank, the quantitative easing in major economies worldwide and the downward revision in global growth forecasts.”

The Bank of Israel added that global growth forecasts, especially for Europe and China have been revised downward, which effect Israel’s economy.

It explained that the program to buy dollars takes into account “the effects on the financial account resulting from the natural gas production” that will result in foreign exchange payments by the gas companies.

“As in the past, the Bank of Israel will continue to operate in the foreign exchange market in cases of exchange rate fluctuations which are not in line with fundamental economic conditions, or when conditions in the foreign exchange market are disorderly,” the Bank of Israel added.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Blue and White, All the Waze

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Waze and Facebook have reached an impasse in their negotiations, but not over whether Facebook will buy Waze for 700 million dollars, or a clean billion, but over Israel, according to the Israeli site Telecom News.

Facebook wants to close down Waze’s Raanana office, and transfer some of the developers to the U.S.

While the proudly Zionist Waze wants the development facility to remain in Israel.

Both companies are holding their ground on this issue.

Of course, Facebook is also not noted for their particularly great coding skills, and the Waze people may be concerned about what will happen to their product if Facebook developers start playing with it without adult supervision.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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