(Yicai Global) March 27 -- Israeli light detection and ranging sensor and perception software startup Innoviz Technologies raised USD132 million in series C funding, with two new Chinese investors yesterday.
China Merchants Capital and Shenzhen Capital Group were the newcomers. Existing Chinese investor New Alliance Capital chipped in again, with participation from Israeli institutional investors Harel Insurance Investments and Financial Services and Phoenix Insurance Company.
The round will remain open for a second closing in the coming months "given demand" from new investors, the company said.
Proceeds will go to commercializing the company's InnovizPro and InnovizOne solid-state LiDAR solutions to meet the rising demand of autonomous vehicles technologies worldwide, and will pave the way for the firm's development in China, the world's largest auto market since 2009.
The Israeli-based firm also plans to expand in key automotive markets of the US, China, Europe and Japan, where it is opening new branches. It has also set up new headquarters in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel. Investing in new products and technologies is also part of its plan.
A LiDAR device shoots light at a surface in rapid pulses -- up to 150,000 a second -- then calculates the time before each pulse rebounds to measure the distance to an object with great precision.
This funding will enable many of the substantial commitments it takes to bring this technology to market on a massive scale -- the scale required by top suppliers and carmakers leveraging LiDAR -- to deliver autonomous vehicles to the public by 2021.
Innoviz Technologies has partnered with original equipment manufacturers and suppliers like Canada's Magna International, Harman International Industries, which is the US automotive unit of South Korea's Samsung Electronics, high tech firm Beijing Jinwei HiRain Technologies and Irish auto parts maker Aptiv to offer autonomous driving solutions.
Editor: Ben Armour