Intel Eyes Purchase Of Traffic Data Firm Moovit For $1B

American technology giant Intel has acquired Israel’s public transit app Moovit for $1 billion. Some 10 percent of the purchase price is anticipated to retain workers across the next two years.

Founded in 2012, Moovit — based in the Israel town of Ness Ziona — has raised $133 million led by BRM Capital, Hanako, BMW iVentures, Sequoia Capital Israel and Vintage Investments Capital.

“At this time we have no comment, but if anything changes I’ll definitely let you know,” a Moovit spokesperson told reporters.

Startup Moovit aims to tap artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics to offer strategies to approximately 800 million people around the world. The deal is anticipated to close for approximately $1 billion.

The deal would reportedly fold Moovit into Intel’s Israeli automotive hub (currently led by Mobileye) and help with its overall self-driving strategy, TechCrunch reported.

“It’s not clear yet what Moovit would be doing in that hub, but as a rule, ingesting and actioning reliable, real-time traffic data and intelligent routing — the crux of what Moovit does — are some of the most challenging aspects of getting autonomous vehicle services up and running,” the article said.

Moovit received $50 million in Series D funding in 2018 led by Intel Capital. 

“Moovit expects to surpass 1 billion users by 2021 and to significantly expand the number of cities that use Moovit’s data analytics to improve urban mobility,” said Nir Erez, the co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “We are especially thrilled about our plans to collaborate with Mobileye. It’s a synergistic relationship at an exciting time to be shaping the future of urban mobility.”

Professor Amnon Shashua, senior vice president of Intel and CEO/CTO of Mobileye, joined Moovit’s board of directors as an observer in 2018.

A significant part of the deal appears to be meshing Moovit into Intel’s bigger strategy. Moovit employees stand to get 10 percent of the $1 billion, as part of a retention package as reported by The Marker newspaper, according to TechCrunch.

At the time of Moovit’s last funding round, the startup was valued at over $500 million. However, growth over the last two years is likely to have increased that valuation considerably.