Innoviz extends funding round to $170 million to bring its lidar…

Innoviz extends funding round to $170 million to bring its lidar tech to self-driving cars | TechCrunch

The close of the Series C round brings Innoviz’s total funding to $252 million.

The lidar industry is brimming with startups — about 70 according to industry experts — that see an opportunity to sell their tech to companies developing autonomous vehicles. Innoviz says that its perception software is what helps it stand out in a sea of lidar startups. The perception software identifies, classifies, segments and tracks objects to give autonomous vehicles a better understanding of the 3D driving scene.

The company plans to use the funding, in part, to further develop the perception software piece. That includes bringing on two computer vision experts, Dr. Raja Giryes and Or Shimshi, as “strategic collaborators.”

The funding will also be used to help Innoviz scale up and eventually mass produce its products. Its automotive-grade lidar product called InnovizOne is entering series production in 2021 for global automakers. The company has an existing solid-state lidar (InnovizPro) that is available now.

Innoviz’s strategy has been to partner with a number of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, such as Magna, HARMAN, HiRain Technologies and Aptiv, and to package perception software with its lidar sensors and offer it as a complete unit for companies developing autonomous vehicle technology.

Innoviz has locked in several key customers, notably BMW. The automaker picked Innoviz’s tech for series production of autonomous vehicles starting in 2021.

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