Intel is preparing to buy Israeli transit data company Moovit in a deal worth approximately $1 billion, business daily TheMarker (Hebrew) reported on Sunday. Negotiations for the imminent acquisition began six months ago, according to the report.
Some $100 million will be earmarked to retain Moovit employers for the next two years, TheMarker further reported. Moovit employs over 200 people, a majority in Israel.
Headquartered in Ness Ziona, Moovit was founded in 2012 by Nir Erez, Yaron Evron, and Roy Bick and developed the first free crowdsourced app that provides real-time bus, train, subway, and light rail schedules and offers route options to help users find the quickest, most efficient way to their destinations.
Today, Moovit has over 750 million users on its free mobile and web app, providing mobility options in 3,100 cities, 100 countries, and in 45 languages.
In addition to its public transportation data features, Moovit’s mobility options are quite extensive and include ride-hailing companies (Uber, Lyft, Gett), car-sharing companies (Zipcar, Car2Go), station-based bike-share systems (CitiBike), dockless bikes (JUMP, Mobike), scooters (Circ, Voi, Lyft Scooters, Skip, and others) and Mopeds (Coup, eCooltra, MiMoto).
The company also sells transit data analytics to municipalities and public transport operators through its Smart Transit Suite, a platform that provides real-time information on people’s movement, optimal routes, wait times, locations of buses and trains and other data for network managing.
In February 2018, Intel led a $50 million investment in Moovit and announced a partnership with Mobileye, the Jerusalem-based tech company that develops cutting-edge driving-assistance technologies and which was acquired by Intel in 2017 for over $15 billion – the biggest exit by an Israeli company to date.
Mobileye co-founder Professor Amnon Shashua, the senior vice president at Intel Corporation, became a member of Moovit’s board of directors as part of the deal.
Moovit has raised over $130 million to date. Investors have included Sequoia Capital Israel, BMW i Ventures, and NGP Capital, a VC firm based in Palo Alto.
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During the global pandemic over these past months, Moovit launched an emergency service for transit agencies, operators, and enterprises to get critical workers to their destination without putting their health or that of others at risk. The solution is implemented by large corporations in a number of cities to shuttle employees safely to work, Moovit said last month.
“As a platform that millions around the world count on for public transportation and micro-mobility information and guidance, Moovit is closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus on our users and partners, agencies, and private companies,” said Yovav Meydad, chief growth and marketing officer at Moovit. “We are here to help. By simply converting existing resources into an alternative mode of transportation, we can help get essential workers to their destination in a way that keeps both them and the driver safe.”
In February, Moovit launched a new AR (Augmented Reality) feature to better locate stops and stations (and not get on the wrong bus going the other direction). It places digital directions and signs on top of the camera view to help users locate correct bus stops, subway entrances, and offers overall extra guidance.
Should the Intel acquisition of Moovit be finalized in the coming days or week, it will become the fourth billion-dollar deal for an Israeli-founded company so far in 2020.
In March, global private equity firm Hellman & Friedman announced that it will acquire Israeli cybersecurity company Checkmarx from Insight Partners at a company valuation of $1.15 billion.
In February, Israeli-founded information security company Forescout Technologies announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by two global private equity firms for a transaction valued at $1.9 billion.
Forescout was established in 2000 by Israeli founders Oded Comay, Dror Comay, Hezy Yeshurun, and Doron Shikmoni, with headquarters in San Jose, California and a development center in Tel Aviv. The company delivers device visibility and control for enterprises and government agencies and is led by CEO and President Michael DeCesare.
In early January, Israeli IoT security firm Armis confirmed that it agreed to be acquired by NY-based Insight Partners at a company valuation of $1.1 billion. Armis will continue to operate independently and will be fully managed by its two co-founders, Yevgeny Dibrov, CEO, and Nadir Izrael, CTO, and the executive team, the company indicated.
Armis was founded in 2015 by Izrael, Dibrov and Tomer Schwartz (no longer with the company), and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and Tel Aviv. Armis says its solution eliminates IoT security blind spots, letting enterprises embrace IoT as part of their digital transformation and develop full visibility and control over the IoT devices that operate within their networks. Armis’ security solution analyzes and classifies these devices in order to identify risks or potential cyber attacks.
The company’s customers have included Mondelēz, Sysco Foods, Allergan and Samsung Research America.