Innoviz, a developer of solid-state LiDAR sensors and perceptual software, has announced the closure of its C-series financing round with more than $ 170 million, bringing its total to $ 252 million – what's more ($ 38 million) than the $ 132 million total, released in March. Co-founder and CEO Omer Keilaf said in a statement that the new capital will benefit the company's broader business activities, support the enhancement of its perception software, and accelerate mass production and marketing.
The increase revenue will be used to improve the technology startup's perception software that helps its solid state laser sensors understand and interpret the surroundings better, the company said.
"In a short time, we have successfully created a leading industry-leading LiDAR solution from scratch, and we have earned partners and customers gains to drive mass production from one of the world's leading automakers," Keilaf said in a statement.
Innoviz's innovative automotive-grade LiDAR product, called InnovizOne, is entering series production in 2021 for global automakers. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in the central city of Rosh Ha'Omin, Israel, Innoviz develops low-cost, small-sized LiDAR systems designed to enable the mass marketing of stand-alone vehicles.
InnovizOne, a LiDAR sensor designed to fit in front of a vehicle, can see the 3D area up to 250 meters ahead.
In addition to providing LiDAR sensors to help standalone cars navigate the world, Innoviz also wants to offer its technology for use in mapping, robots and drones. The technology's ability to generate detailed, ghostly 3D maps of the surroundings of a moving car in all lighting conditions, working in conjunction with cameras and radars, gives autonomous cars an awareness that road conditions are superhuman.
For Elon Musk, however, LiDAR sensors are "expensive sensors that are unnecessary," he told investors and analysts attending the "Autonomy Day" on April 21 at Tesla. "It's like having a lot of expensive appendages. An appendix is bad, now let's put a bunch of them. This is ridiculous. You will see."
The LiDAR market is projected to be worth $ 1.8 billion in just five years and is an overcrowded field. Innoviz has two prominent LiDAR products: InnovizPro, a solid state LiDAR with 150 meters range and 20 frames per second, and InnovizOne, a long-range development kit for the aftermarket automotive aftermarket meter range, ultra wide field of view (120 degrees) and a frame rate of 25 frames per second.
Innoviz is also developing software aimed at creating an end-to-end detection platform for original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 vendors, an entry-level strategy that has won customers such as Harman, HiRain Technologies and Aptiv. BMW recently selected Innoviz's computer vision software for a number of production cars from 2021 onwards, and the company says it is actively working with additional partners – including automotive suppliers Delphi and Magna – as they seek new customers in the industry automotive.
The hiring of Dr. Raja Giryes and Or Shimshi, who will serve as strategic collaborators for the product and software team, was also announced by Innoviz. Giryes, a senior scholar and researcher, holds a doctorate in computer science, while Shimshi manages teams and performs advisory roles for computer vision, deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence with companies such as Samsung, Intel, Qualcomm and Citibank.
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