Intel acquires public transport journey planner Moovit in $900 million deal

Updated: The deal has now been confirmed.

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Update 17.37 BST: Intel has now confirmed the acquisition for $900 million. 

Intel has snapped up mobile transport firm Moovit, an acquisition that builds upon the company's previous purchase of autonomous driving company Mobileye.

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Over the weekend, local media publication Calcalist reported that the deal is "very close" to being signed for Intel to purchase Moovit App Global Ltd for $1 billion. 

Intel has now confirmed the deal for roughly $900 million, or $840 million net of Intel Capital equity gain.

See also: Intel launches 10th gen Intel Core desktop processor with perks for gaming, video editors

The firm's Moovit software is a mobile travel planning application available on Android and iOS. The app can be used to plan journeys on public transport in over 3000 cities and offers maps, timetables, live directions, and alerts to disruption reported by users. The app is used by over 775 million users in countries including the UK, India, and Singapore. 

Moovit has previously raised $131.5 million through five funding rounds. The latest Series D round took place in February 2018. Previous investors include Intel, BRM Capital, Rainfall Ventures, and Gemini Israel Ventures. 

In March, the Israeli startup made some changes to its business model in light of drastic reductions to the use of public transport worldwide caused by the coronavirus outbreak. In a blog post, the company said that the On-Demand Transit platform, a transit changes deployment tracker, can now be used to ensure essential workers have access to emergency transport during the crisis. 

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The acquisition of the real-time transport app complements Intel's Mobileye unit, acquired in 2017 for $15.3 billion, as well as Intel's overall push into the mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) market. Last year, Mobileye chief Amnon Shashua said that the autonomous driving company is betting big on autonomous "robotaxis," advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and associated data, with a particular focus on mobility-as-a-service. 

"Intel's purpose is to create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth, and our Mobileye team delivers on that purpose every day," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Mobileye's ADAS 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."

TechRepublic: How the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the face of transportation in cities

Intel has not just been signing acquisition deals in recent weeks. While the COVID-19 outbreak has caused massive disruption to businesses worldwide, the need for skilled individuals in new forms of technology remains strong -- including in deep learning and computer vision -- and so Intel and Udacity recently teamed up to create a new nanodegree program in these fields. A subset of the course content is free. 

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