Intel to take self-driving car unit Mobileye public

7 Dec 2021

Image: Mobileye

The Mobileye business that Intel acquired for more than $15bn in 2017 will now become a separate publicly traded company.

Intel is planning to take Mobileye, its self-driving car unit, public in the US in 2022.

The chip giant said it intends to have an initial public offering of newly issued Mobileye stock next year, creating a separate publicly traded company.

Sources told Reuters that the move could value the unit at more than $50bn.

Intel said it will remain the majority owner of Mobileye and the two companies will continue “as strategic partners”, working on tech developments in the auto sector.

Mobileye is focused on advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving tech. It was founded more than two decades ago in Israel by Prof Amnon Shashua, who developed his research into computer vision technology.

The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 but was acquired by Intel in 2017 in a $15.3bn deal.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said the company’s acquisition of Mobileye has been “a great success” and that the IPO would now provide “the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders”.

He added that Mobileye has experienced substantial revenue growth over the past four years, with 2021 gains “expected to be 40pc higher” than 2020. The self-driving unit saw record revenue in the most recent quarter.

Driving growth

After the IPO, Intel and Mobileye will continue to collaborate on technologies to further both companies’ work in the automotive market.

Chips play a big role in advanced driving technology. Semiconductors are expected to be 20pc of a premium vehicle’s total bill of materials by 2030, according to data from Intel and McKinsey, and Intel recently revealed it would set aside production capacity at its Irish base for automotive chipmaking.

The company said that its teams working on lidar and radar development and Moovit, an urban mobility business that Intel acquired last year for $900m to bolster Mobileye, will now be aligned as part of Mobileye.

Mobileye develops a range of autonomous mobility technologies. It has shipped more than 100m EyeQ system-on-a-chips and scaled autonomous vehicle test programmes in cities around the world.

This year it unveiled a self-driving robotaxi and secured 41 new ADAS deals with more than 30 automakers. It has also signed deals for mobility-as-a-service programmes starting in 2023.

Since the Intel acquisition, Mobileye has gone from around 750 employees to more than 2,500.

“Mobileye has realised accelerated growth and opportunity since joining the Intel family, nearly tripling annual chip shipments, revenue and the number of employees since the acquisition,” said Shashua.

“Our alignment with Intel continues to provide Mobileye with valuable technical resources and support that has yielded strong revenue along with free cash flow that allows us to fund our [autonomous vehicle] development work from current revenue.”

Shashua and the Mobileye executive team will remain at the new public company.

Intel noted that a final decision on the IPO, including its conditions and timing, is pending and subject to market conditions

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Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com