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With aspirations to offer more crowd-sourced data, Waze gets 1.8M downloads in a single month
A four-year-old the Israel-based social car-centric service announced Thursday that it has passed the 20 million user mark, just weeks after expanding its traffic and navigation service to include crowd-sourced gas prices.
While four years is a fair amount of time to gain a solid base of users, the company clarified that half of its users were attracted to the service in just the last six months. In just in the last month the company added 1.8 million new users to its community.
Waze is a navigation app that offers real-time traffic data collected by app users so that real-time data is constantly being collected and updates to inform the usership when traffic accidents are spotted or when they are finally clearing up. On June 20, Waze announced that it was expanding its offerings to inform users on where the best gas prices are.
Now with more than 20 million users gaining access to real-time gas prices, there is a lot of cash to be saved at the pump by knowing that the prices two blocks off your usually route are a few cents cheaper.
Users can now bring up a map or list of all the stations along their route and see current prices. The fuel price data comes from OPIS, but if you arrive at a station and see a price discrepancy, you can update the numbers right from your app.
And since Waze is aware that getting gas is often a necessary part of your trip, it has updated its navigation function to allow you to pick the gas station with the prices you desire and insert that scheduled stop into your route without interruption.
This feature can also be used for more than just fuel detours, you can add the dry cleaner or the grocery store into your route and will receive estimated arrival times for each stop to assure you get to places before they close or with enough time to beat the traffic.
This Waze update comes just after Apple announced that the iOS6 update will include turn-by-turn directions (some of the data is actually supplied by Waze).
It appears that Waze is starting its expansion into the fuel partnership and reporting business but there are opportunities for the company to add other new verticals in the future -- such as tire companies, stores providing oil changes and other car maintenance sectors.
Back in October, the Palo Alto-based company raised $30 million in growth funding, led by Horizons Ventures Hong Kong, which manages the private venture investments of Li Ka Shing in the technology sector, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) Digital Growth Fund and iFund.
That brought the company's total funding raised to $67 million.
That is an exceptional amount for a system devoted to data collected by its users and it looks like its expansion plans are starting to roll out now that smartphones are doing a lot of the navigation heavy lifting for drivers.
Waze's usership have accessed their service to help drive more efficiently and informed for more than 3.2 billion miles so far and it looks like this is just the beginning.
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