Innoviz raises $132m, Ouster $62m, to accelerate lidar production

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Innoviz Technologies, a developer of solid-state lidar sensors, has raised $132 million in series C funding to accelerate production, expand its team, and further R&D efforts. Meanwhile, Ouster, which develops semiconductor-based lidar sensors, has gained $60 million in funding to accelerate technology development and expansion into new industries and geographical regions.

Innoviz’s new funding total now amounts to $214 million, with a second closing of this round expected in the coming months, while Ouster’s total amounts to $89 million after announcing $27 million in series A capital in December 2017.

Operating in the 905nm, InnovizPro is designed for automotive, mapping, robotics, and other applications. It creates a dense 3D point cloud at high frame rate and offers high pixel density with uniform vertical field of view to detect targets at 150 metres.

The company is focusing expansion efforts in key automotive markets including the US, Europe, Japan and China. Innoviz also plans to expand its research and development efforts by investing in the buildout of next-generation products and software that will feature more cost reductions and improved performance.

‘We've experienced significant growth over the past year to meet increased demand for solid-state lidar. This fundraising enables many of the substantial commitments it takes to bring this technology to market at a massive scale – the scale required by Tier 1 suppliers and automakers leveraging lidar to deliver autonomous vehicles to the masses by 2021,’ said Omer Keilaf, CEO and co-founder of Innoviz.

Ouster’s OS-2 lidar sensor has a 200+ metre range and 22.5° field of view for use in autonomous vehicles and mapping. With its all-semiconductor approach to lidar, the company says its 3D sensors are smaller, lighter, more durable, and less expensive than other solutions.

The company also announced the opening of a new manufacturing facility at its headquarters in San Francisco, which is currently producing hundreds of sensors per month. The manufacturing facility will have the capacity to assemble, calibrate, and ship several thousand sensors per month toward the end of 2019.

In other news, Velodyne has announced a $500 million milestone lidar modules shipped.

David Hall, Velodyne founder and CEO, told Forbes earlier this months that the company has ‘supplied lidars to almost every self-driving car program at some point since 2007, has shipped 30,000 of the laser sensors since it started making them, generating cumulative sales of $500 million.’

Image: Image obtained with Ouster's OS-1 64 sensor

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