Society is certainly experiencing a ‘new normal’ as many states begin to relax COVID-19 restrictions. Contactless deliveries and services have rapidly grown in popularity, for one. And in line with that, while many companies are hitting pause on big expenditures, Intel Corporation is doubling down on autonomous cars and advancing the mobility conversation with its recent Moovit acquisition.
What could this mean for the future of transportation – and is your business prepared to pivot?
Intel Isn’t Letting COVID Slow It Down
Intel Corporation recently announced the acquisition of Moovit App Global Ltd. Moovit developed a mobile travel planning app that helps their 775 million users navigate different modes of transit in over 3,000 cities worldwide. Having secured the autonomous car company Mobileye in 2017 for $15.3 billion, Intel is expanding its footprint in the mobility sector despite the downturn caused by COVID-19.
Many businesses are still reeling from the effects of the global pandemic. And certainly most are exercising an abundance of caution fiscally speaking. Not surprisingly, some companies in the mobility/autonomous vehicle industry, such as Ford and Waymo, have scaled back or halted those ventures given losses in the current economic landscape.
Consumers have embraced contactless interactions as the norm in receiving goods and services these days. The sentiment drivers surrounding person-to-person contact give a sense of where the overarching conversation stands:
It’s telling that ‘contactless’ and ‘contact-free’ are mentioned multiple times in the positive attributes. As restrictions begin to ease and the public ventures out to parks and hair salons again, it’s a no-brainer that a contactless, autonomous vehicle would have an appeal in the era of social distancing.
And Intel is betting on the long game. With a balance sheet that supports forward planning, Intel is going all in on creating a mobility-as-a-service provider by combining Moovit’s network and traffic analysis capabilities with Mobileye’s advanced driver assistance systems. It’s innovation personified – and perfect for today’s environment.
Mergers & Acquisitions in Mobility Space
We already know about Moovit and Mobileye, so let’s see what else Intel has been up to in the mobility sector. Using the company dataset in the Quid product, we centered our search around industry parameters relevant to mobility including automobiles, transportation infrastructure, internet software/services and technology hardware. Specifically, we narrowed our search to only include companies involved in mergers and acquisitions over the past six months. Our analysis returned over 700 companies with a median investment received of $1.5 million.
For a more granular look at acquisitions, we see a subset of 14 companies.
Of those, we can see in the chart above that Intel has acquired two new companies during our time frame. Namely ethernet developer Barefoot Networks Inc. and artificial intelligence (AI) chipmaker Habana Labs Ltd. Both companies became official subsidiaries of Intel Corporation in December of 2019.
Of our 14 acquirers returned in our search, we can see that Habana Labs takes the top spot in M&A at a price tag of $1.7 billion while the amount of the Barefoot Networks deal remains undisclosed. Median investment here balloons to $316 million.
Therefore, by bringing Moovit under its umbrella, Intel has added a total of three new companies in the last six months; all of which bring unique areas of expertise relevant to the nascent autonomous vehicle industry.
Perhaps the most telling of all is that Intel went ahead with its Moovit deal in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it could have taken a wait-and-see approach in this economy, Intel is choosing to forge ahead to innovate in the mobility sphere. And its acquisitions are very interesting when considering its combined potential.
This is certainly info a competitor would want to stay on top of. And could give clues around detecting potential whitespace in the vertical.
Spotting M&A Whitespace
To get a bit of a broader picture of M&A in the mobility sector, we shifted over to timeline view to look at the numbers over the past three years. And we explored both mergers and acquisitions for both private and public investments to get a better look at the overall movement.
You can see from the chart below that activity surrounding the electric vehicles, computing/cloud infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the industry is steadily trending upwards. It peaked at the end of 2019, but is still doing admirably well considering the state of things worldwide right now:
Figuratively speaking, it’s only a matter of time before Detroit and Silicone Valley fully collide. As fast as new technology is developed and refined, companies are using it in the race to full autonomy. Sure there have been legal hiccups and hurdles to overcome, but smart companies will continue to innovate their way through it just like Intel is doing now. Are you?
Time will tell if we are in a season of low hanging fruit in terms of mergers and acquisitions, as it may prove a necessity for many startups suffering in today’s economy. The tides are shifting, and forward-thinking companies are turning their eyes toward economic recovery through new lines of business, innovation and strategic mergers and acquisitions.
Through powerful visualized data, NetBase Quid puts market intelligence at your fingertips enabling you to make sense of the white space surrounding your industry before the competition. Be sure to reach out for a personalized demo to learn more!