Published On: Sun, May 18th, 2014

Israel’s MobilEye Expects To Raise $1 Billion In Its IPO

After months of speculation, MobilEye has finally submitted its plans for an initial public offering with the NASQAQ stock exchange.

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MobilEye has already submitted a preliminary confidential filing with NASDAQ for its initial public offering. The Israeli high tech company expects a valuation of between $3.5 billion and $5 billion once its shares are fully listed.

A filing was submitted with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week. Financial institutions Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are said to be underwriting the IPO.

MobilEye hopes to launch its IPO in July and it is expected to be one of the largest ever for an Israeli firm.

With its research and development center located in Jerusalem, MobilEye develops advanced driver assistance systems that warn motorists of impending collisions, thereby reducing traffic accidents. The company was founded in 1999 by Professor Amnon Shashua with Ziv Amram and is incorporated in the Netherlands. The system is sold directly to the automobile manufacturers and its first customers were companies like BMW, General Motors and Volvo. In 2011 it introduced the world’s first ever forward collision warning system to be approved by America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The system has a camera which is installed in the rear view mirror of a car. There is a processor which can identify both moving vehicles and pedestrians when they get close. In contrast to similar systems which use radar and cost the consumer up to $2000, MobilEye’s camera based system only costs about $150.

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In June 2013, MobilEye raised $400 million when it sold 25% of its shares, giving it a $1.5 billion valuation at the time. Goldman Sachs invested $100 million in the company in 2007. Israel’s Bank Leumi and Colmobil Corporation are also investors.

But the company’s revenues for last year were only $85 million for a profit of only $35 million, leading some experts to wonder if MobilEye is not overvalued. Investors counter that the company is expected to see an incredible increase in sales world wide giving it much higher annual streams of revenue.

Professor Amnon Shashua is the chairman of the board and the chief technical officer of MobilEye. A professor of computer science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he once chaired the school’s department of engineering and computer science. He also founded CogniTens, provider of 3D optical measurement solutions for industrial applications.

Ziv Aviram is the co founder, president and chief executive officer of MobilEye. A graduate of the Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva in industrial engineering and management, he previously served as the CEO of Israeli companies Keter, a retail chain, Gali, also a retail chain, and Attrakzia. He succeeded at turning around all three companies from losses to profits through corporate restructuring.

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