A Startup CEO May Have Just Walked Away From A Half-Billion-Dollar Apple Buyout

noam bardin wazeNoam Bardin, CEO of Waze

Photo: Waze

Reports have Waze, a mobile navigation app, walking away from a ~ $500 million offer from Apple, which already uses the startup’s data in its controversial new mapping service.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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