Corporate giants often reduce the number of employees at companies they acquire, but that doesn't seem to be the case at Waze that was bought earlier this year by Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG). The traffic navigation app developer plans expanding its workforce.
Waze CEO Noam Bardin says that since the exit the company has expanded its workforce by 20% to 120 employees and plans hiring more staff in 2014. The company plans having 200 employees by the end of 2014. Bardin was speaking at the Start-up Stadium event organized by Canaan Partners, managed by Izhar Shay.
Bardin spoke about the process leading up to the impressive exit and the difficulties en route. Asked about rumors that Bardin had insisted during talks with both Facebook and Google that the company and its employees remain based in Israel he said, "Neither company had a problem with that. It wouldn't be practical to transfer 100 employees to another location. There were feelers about moving Waze to another place but we said no."
Bardin also spoke about the many rumors published in the media that accompanied that sale process. "I've no complaints against the media. People connected with the talks did not know how to keep their mouths shut. People ran to tell friends. Things almost broke down because of rumors and that would have done huge damage to the Israeli economy."
He added, "The most difficult experience that we had over the years was raising money in the second financing round, when our funds were finished and we had no way of paying salaries. On top of that that there was a lot of friction with our investors."
One of Waze's founders Uri Levine said after the exit, "Newspaper headlines spoke of Waze reaching its destination but forgot to say that the destination is the end of the journey as far as I am concerned."
He continued, "I still haven't found time to go on a ski vacation since the sale to Google and I'm already working on a new start-up Feex, which offers solutions for paying fees in the financial world. Most people are unaware of all the fees that they pay."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 24, 2013
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