Facebook’s talks to potentially acquire satellite navigation startup Waze may have hit a Google-sized fork in the road, as Bloomberg reports that the search-engine giant has thrown its hat into the Israeli company’s ring.
Sources close to Waze told Bloomberg the company is eyeing more than $1 billion and fielding multiple offers, but it may also remain independent and pursue venture-capital financing.
Apple is not involved in the process, sources told Bloomberg.
Israeli daily newspaper Calcalist reported earlier this month that Waze Co-Founders Ehud Shabtai, Uri Levine, and Amir Shinar, as well as CEO Noam Bardin, were insistent upon retaining the company’s development center in Israel and the 100 or so employees based there, while Facebook was making the potential acquisition contingent on liquidating Waze’s activities in Israel and relocating select employees.
Calcalist had reported a few days before those developments that Waze has 45 million users, tripling its total from 15 million over the course of 2012, and it boasts a 10 percent share of the U.S. navigation application sector, second only to Google Maps.
Readers: Do you think Waze will end up with Facebook, Google, or another company, or will the Israeli startup remain independent?