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Israeli startup Waze, developer of the free social GPS app for smart phones, has announced a $25 million venture round bringing the total capital raised to date to $37 million according to VentureWire. The proceeds of this round will be used to scale operations, continue building its platform for real-time location data and move its headquarters from Israel to Palo Alto, California, according to the CEO’s post on the company blog, By The Waze. The round was led by prior investor BlueRun Ventures which valued the company between $90 million and $100 million. New investors joined as well, including Magma Venture Partners and Vertex, together with Qualcomm Ventures who joined as new strategic investors.

The Waze app consists of a free GPS map where drivers share real time info with each other including traffic, accidents, police, speedcams and more. Available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian or Windows mobile devices, waze is quickly becoming the app of choice for drivers around the world. In 2010, Waze has been experiencing significant growth, most recently reaching 2.2 million registered users across 100 countries.  Started in 2006 by Uri Levine Ehud Shabtai and Amir Shinar, Waze has about 40 employees and is currently headquartered in Israel.  Noam Bardin joined as CEO in April 2009, having previously served as the CEO of Israel’s video platform Intercast Networks.

Waze is currently focused on improving the user experience and isn’t yet profitable. It plans to make money in the future by both selling traffic data to other companies and by showing targeted advertising its users. (via VC Cafe)


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