The Israel-based LiDAR-focused startup Innoviz Technologies and the Canada-based LiDAR startup LeddarTech both recently announced new funding rounds — rounds which have apparently seen the involvement of a number of top auto parts supply firms.
To be more specific, the firms Delphi Automotive, Magna International, and Magneti Marelli are all known to have taken part. Innoviz Technologies’ $65 million funding round has been joined by Delphi and Magna, and LeddarTech’s $101 million funding round has been joined by Delphi and Magneti Marelli.
Those are pretty substantial figures as regards the funding rounds, though perhaps quite reasonable if LiDAR tech proves to be integrated into the self-driving vehicle tech solutions of even a few major auto manufacturers or fleet operators.
As a reminder, or an overview for those unfamiliar with the term, “LiDAR” refers to tech that utilizes lasers/light pulses to create spatial maps that can be used for various purposes, including self-driving vehicle tech.
Reuters provides more: “Innoviz’s Series B funding round comes as the firm prepares for the 2019 debut of its automotive grade solid-state Lidar device, InnovizOne, for full and partial self-driving systems. Delphi and Magna will offer Innoviz’s technology to the automakers it supplies, Oren Rosenzweig, co-founder and chief business officer of Innoviz, told Reuters. The company also plans to mass produce its Lidar platform for testing and development available in the first quarter of 2018.
“LeddarTech’s Series C funding round was led by German lighting company Osram and will be used to accelerate Lidar development with suppliers, the company said.”
On a very related note, Delphi announced pretty recently that it had acquired a minority stake in Innoviz — something no doubt related to the new funding round participation.
Also potentially interesting in the context of this news is the fact that Magna International CEO Don Walker recently stated that he considered the hype around self-driving cars to mostly be PR at this point, and that the transition to genuinely self-driving vehicles will be slower than most automakers and prominent thinkers in the field are hyping. We’ll see, but it’s interesting to see Magna investing in LiDAR startups nonetheless.
Images by Innoviz