Hey fellow Wazers -
2010 has been a wild ride at Waze. Thanks to our amazing area managers, mappers and global users, we have grown to over 2.2 Million drivers! We have expanded our service to over 100 countries, and rolled out support for the 5 major smart phone OS’es, which is bringing the power of the social web to the driving experience in a whole new way.
We believe strongly that, since traffic is a social phenomenon, the solution must be social as well. We have built our service around crowdsourcing real time driving data and have seen the value of this data grow – for our users and every day commuters, as well as commercial data companies and advertisers.
So it is with great pride that we announce we have closed $25m of funding, in a round led by our existing investors, Blue Run Ventures, Magma and Vertex, together with new strategic investors, including Qualcomm Ventures. We would like to thank our existing investors for their support and welcome our new investors, as we look forward to their help in making our service even better.
With this fresh funding we are hiring extensively and planning to grow our amazing team on all fronts. First, we will expand our US HQ in Silicon Valley in terms of people and relocate to a larger office – we have outgrown our space here a bit We are also looking for talented people to help scale our service and build new functionality. Mostly, we need to continue to build our platform for real-time location data, where we are competing with the largest tech companies in the world, and can now build the corresponding organization!
So what’s in store for 2011? First of all – we have big plans to improve and grow our service. Lots of great features, functionality and infrastructure upgrades (prepare for a blazing fast Cartouch…). Second – this will be the year of opening up our platform – data, API’s, access (more to come soon)… Third – We plan to take crowdsourcing further than it has ever gone before. We want media companies to engage users as citizen journalists, and NBC2 is just the first step toward this. We want to enable local governments to encourage users to report about hazards on the road to help keep our roads safe. We want major brands to provide wazer’s with incentives to visit their establishment, helping you find deals on the road… We have lots of big plans for 2011, and now have the funding to achieve them.
So – things are just taking off. The future is social–come join us for the ride!
Noam (@noamb11) and the Waze Team (@waze)