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Intel Confirms Acquisition Of Israel’s Moovit In $900M Mobility Play

This weekend, various media outlets reported that Intel Corp. was poised to scoop up public transport app startup Moovit for about $1 billion.

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An Israeli company with an office in San Francisco, Moovit also has created a mobility journey planner app. This morning, the tech giant confirmed the acquisition but at a price of $900 million. The buy marks Intel’s first known buy of 2020, according to Crunchbase data.

Moovit operates as a software-as-a-service provider and has 800 million users across all platforms, according to its website. It offers its services in 3,200 cities across 103 countries. Moovit first launched as a free app in 2012 for iOS, Android and Web browsers to help “guide people in getting around town effectively and conveniently using any mode of transit.”

The company has raised $131.5 million over its lifetime, according to Crunchbase data. Intel’s venture arm, Intel Capital, led the company’s $50 million Series D in February 2018, according to Crunchbase, which shows that at the time the company was valued at $131.5 million. So, an acquisition for a $900 million purchase price just two years later is impressive.

Other backers include Sequoia Capital Israel, Gemini Israel Ventures, and BMW iVentures, among others.

Moovit has around 200 employees, according to Intel, which noted that in the past two years, “Moovit has achieved a seven-times increase in users.”

In 2017, Intel acquired Mobileye, also based in Israel, for $15.3 billion.

Upon close of this latest acquisition, Moovit will join the Mobileye business while retaining its brand and existing partnerships, according to Intel.

“Mobileye’s [advanced driver assistance systems] technology is already improving the safety of millions of cars on the road, and Moovit accelerates their ability to truly revolutionize transportation — reducing congestion and saving lives — as a full-stack mobility provider,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan, in a press release.

Acquisitive

In late 2019, Intel picked up another Israeli company, Habana, for $2 billion. With reports of the latest buy, we thought it would be a good time to take a quick look at Intel’s acquisition history.

We found that since its 1968 inception, Intel has made 97 known acquisitions. In 2019, Intel made five known buys, according to Crunchbase data. Besides Habana, it also picked up Smart Edge for $27 million, Barefoot Networks, Omnitek and Ineda Systems.

That compares to three acquisitions in 2018 and just one in 2017. But 2019 wasn’t Intel’s most acquisitive year. In 2016, the tech giant scooped up a total of nine companies.

Intel’s acquisition of Moovit is reminiscent of Google’s 2013 buy of Waze. In April, Shmulik Karpf, a global equity analyst for Israel’s Bank Leumi, told Cacalist in an interview that “in both cases, the acquired company is the developer of a free mobile app providing a navigation optimization service to individuals and companies.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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