About ten percent of the cash will go to Moovit’s 210 employees, almost all of whom work in Israel, as an incentive for them to stay on for at least two years after the acquisition is completed.
Intel had a seven percent share in Moovit and is represented on the Moovit board by Hebrew University Prof. Amnon Shashua, whose own auto-tech company Mobileye was bought by Intel in 2017 for $15.3 billion.
Moovit’s application provides real-time information on public transportation in more than 3,000 cities in 94 countries to users for free. The company generates revenues from a basket of products that includes giving local authorities and public transit operators tools to improve planning and operations and optimize services. It is estimated to have annual recurring revenues of $30 million.
It will be Intel's second big acquisition in Israel by the US company in five months, after it acquired Habana Labs last December for $2 billion.
The move has confused a few analysts. Intel’s $300 million acquisition of Telmap, a mobile navigation software maker, was a failure and Chipzilla closed it just two years after buying the company in 2011.
It is thought Intel is interested in Moovit to help its Mobileye subsidiary. Moovit is best known for its app to help users find bus and train times and routes in real time, Intel’s real interest is in the data services the company sells to businesses like Uber and Microsoft as well as to local authorities.
Moovit’s algorithms and data can help, for instance, a taxi driver find the optimal route for their passengers, but this could be good for Mobileye, which is developing self-driving car technology and, in particular, a self-driving ride-hailing service it plans. Together with Germany’s Volkswagen and Israel’s Champion Motors, Mobileye said in 2018 it hoped to unveil the service in Tel Aviv by 2022.
Mobileye and Moovit have been collaborating since 2018, with Moovit providing public transportation data that can be integrated into Mobileye navigation software. Moovit also collaborates with Waze, which is owned by Google, and Uber, both of which are competing in the Intel and Mobileye in the self-driving market. It’s not clear if that cooperation would continue if Moovit comes under Intel’s ownership.