Mobileye tops list of auto tech exits

Mobileye tops list of auto tech exits

Jerusalem-based maker of driver assistance and autonomous car systems tops CB Insights ranking for VC-backed auto tech exits in 2012-16

BMW, Intel, Mobileye announce cooperation for driverless car, July 2016 (Courtesy)
BMW, Intel, Mobileye announce cooperation for driverless car, July 2016 (Courtesy)

Mobileye, the Israeli developer of advanced vision and driver assistance systems, has had the largest exit of all venture capital-backed auto technology companies in the past four years, a ranking by New York data company CB Insights shows.

The Jerusalem-based firm held an initial public offering in August 2014 that valued the company at $5.31 billion. San Francisco-based Cruise Automation follows in the ranking, after it was bought in March by General Motors, a deal that valued the company at $1 billion, CB insights said.

There have been a dozen venture capital-backed exits in the auto tech sector since 2012, with five in 2016 alone, the report said. The ranking shows the largest venture capital backed auto-tech first exits with disclosed valuations in the years 2012-2016, year to date.

“This year has seen an explosion of interest in auto tech, as corporations pile into the autonomous vehicle space and investors increasingly target startups in self-driving and other auto tech disciplines,” the report said. And while both venture capital and corporate investors have increased their auto-tech activity, exits — when a company holds an initial public offering of shares or is acquired — have been “relatively sparse.”

Private companies working in the auto tech sector are set to attract a record level of deals and funding this year, the data company said, with autonomous driving startups leading the list. Apple, Audi, China’s search giant Baidu and a consortium of BMW with Intel and Mobileye are among the corporate groups that are involved in the development of advanced driver assistance systems and self-driving vehicles.

As of July, investors had piled a total of $450 million in 36 deals for auto tech startups, and investments in 2016 are on track to reach an estimated record $847 million, well above the $478 million in financing the sector received in the whole of 2015, CB Insights said.

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