As Intel races to reorient its business around semiconductor chip-making production, CEO Pat Gelsinger has promised to keep the company’s eye on the proverbial business road ahead.
In doing so, Intel has decided to separate Mobileye, its self-driving car unit that promises to help drivers take their eyes off the literal road. On Monday, the multinational tech company confidentially filed to take Mobileye public – and, according to reporting from The Wall Street Journal, its valuation could reach as high as $50 billion.
The Apple In Your Mobileye
Let’s tap the brakes and (autonomously) shift into reverse. Intel first bought the Israel-based Mobileye in 2017, for roughly $15 billion. In the five years since, Mobileye has established a “two-track” approach to autonomous driving tech, becoming a leading supplier of driver-assist systems while also pursuing a “moonshot” of fully-autonomous taxicabs. It’s become a bright spot for Intel, selling camera-based systems for adaptive cruise control and lane change assistance technology to legacy automakers including GM, Honda, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, and Nissan.
Though the expected price range and number of shares being offered have yet to be announced, Intel says it plans to retain a majority stake in the unit post-IPO, and hopefully cash-in on a strong appetite for autonomous driving tech when it lists later this year:
- Mobileye generated $1.4 billion in revenue in 2021, a roughly 40% jump from 2020, unit CEO Amnon Shashua said in January; Waymo and Cruise, the self-driving subsidiaries of Alphabet and GM respectively, have each been valued at roughly $30 billion despite generating virtually no revenue.
- The company already has a pipeline of 50 million equipment orders for vehicles this year, up from around 37 million in 2020; while its technology is roughly equal to competitors, industry insiders tell the Financial Times Mobileye excels at establishing relationships with major carmakers.
Intel’s stock is down nearly 10% so far this year, but it’s hoping Mobileye’s public listing could help steer the business back into investors’ good graces.