LiDAR Maker Innoviz Raises $65 Million
Autopart suppliers Delphi and Magna and South-Korean web company Naver participated in the Series B funding round
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Innoviz's partners, U.K.-based autopart manufacturer Delphi Automotive PLC and Canada-based automotive supplier Magna International, participated in the round, as did all of Innoviz' Series A investors. New investors participating in the round were Paris-based early venture capital firm 360 Capital Partners, Shanghai-based venture capital fund Glory Ventures and the South Korea-based Naver Corporation, among others.
A second closing of this round is expected to be announced soon, with additional strategic partners, the company said.
LiDAR, short for Light Detection and Ranging, is a surveying method that uses lasers and a sensor to measure the distance from a target, creating 3D representations of the surroundings. While the technology can be used in autonomous vehicles for navigation and control, the high cost of current systems is a major challenge for driverless car initiatives."The manufacturing of low-cost LiDARs is almost a stopgap in the industry; the low-cost products offered don't perform well, and the advanced products are very expensive,” Omer Keilaf, Innoviz co-founder and CEO, said in an interview with Calcalist Thursday. “Auto manufacturers aren't looking to invest many years in developing this technology, and the fact that we have a working product gives us a huge advantage," Mr. Keilaf added. Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Kfar Saba, 9 miles north east of Tel-Aviv, Innoviz develops low-cost, small size LiDAR systems. Its technology offers advanced software solutions in areas such as high-definition mapping and simultaneous localization and mapping.
Currently employing around 75 people, the company plans to use the funding to hire more developers and start mass production of its products. The company’s LiDAR system will be available to manufacturers, suppliers and technology companies in the first quarter of 2018 for testing and development.