Waze is a popular navigation app that uses real-time traffic data and crowdsourcing to provide users with the best routes for their journeys. The app was first launched in Israel in 2008 and was later acquired by Google in 2013 for a reported $1.1 billion. Waze has since become one of the most popular navigation apps, with over 140 million users worldwide. But how does Waze make money?
Waze operates on a freemium business model, meaning that the app is free to use, but there are additional features that users can pay for. These features include ad-free navigation, turn-by-turn voice prompts, and the ability to choose a celebrity voice for navigation. Waze also offers a feature called Waze Carpool, which allows users to find and join carpools with other users who are traveling in the same direction.
One of the ways that Waze makes money is through advertising. Waze allows businesses to create branded pins on the app’s map, which show up when a user is near the business. These pins can include a logo, a message, and a call-to-action, such as “Visit our store now!” Businesses can also purchase sponsored search results, which appear at the top of the search results when a user searches for a particular type of business or location. Waze also offers “zero-speed takeover” ads, which appear on the user’s screen when they are stopped at a red light or in traffic.
In addition to advertising, Waze also generates revenue through data licensing agreements. Waze collects a vast amount of data from its users, including real-time traffic data, user-generated reports of accidents and hazards, and information on businesses and points of interest. Waze can then sell this data to third-party companies, such as city planners and transportation authorities, who use the data to improve traffic flow and make better-informed decisions about infrastructure and transportation projects.
Another way that Waze generates revenue is through partnerships with car manufacturers. Waze has partnerships with several major car manufacturers, including Ford, BMW, and Toyota, to integrate the app into their in-car infotainment systems. This allows users to access Waze directly from their car’s dashboard and receive turn-by-turn directions through the car’s speakers. In exchange for this integration, Waze receives a fee from the car manufacturer.
Finally, Waze generates revenue through its carpooling feature, Waze Carpool. Waze Carpool allows users to find and join carpools with other users who are traveling in the same direction.