A few months back, LiDAR startup Innoviz announced that it had raised US$132 million in Series C funding. The company has added US$38 million more, closing funding for the round at US$170 million. In total, Innoviz has raised US$252 million to date.
Innoviz and most of the LiDAR startups see a tremendous opportunity in the autonomous vehicles industry. The technology uses laser light to generate accurate 3D maps of surroundings. When applied to self-driving cars, this will enable the vehicles to have a real-time perspective of the world around them. As a result, the cars will be able to maneuver better without causing any accidents. Innoviz’s solid-state LiDAR technology promises to be very reliable over a long period of time due to a lack of moving parts. Its perception software identifies, groups, and tracks objects in a 3D environment with greater accuracy than existing solutions.
“In a short amount of time, we have successfully created an industry-leading LiDAR solution from the ground up and secured partner and customer wins to push it into series production for one of the top automakers in the world… [With the new funds, the company will also focus on] accelerating our path to mass production, commercializing our perception software offering, and delivering next-generation solutions,” Omer Keilaf, Innoviz’s CEO and co-founder, said in a statement (Forbes). InnovizOne, the company’s automotive-grade LiDAR product, is expected to hit production sometime in 2021.
The startup has been focused on partnering with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to distribute the LiDAR software together with its sensors. Last year, Innoviz entered into an agreement with BMW to supply its LiDAR sensing technology. Recently, the company inked a deal with Harman International Industries Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. The partnership aims at selling the company’s perception solutions to vehicles globally. “We are now preparing for the next phase of growth — connected vehicles and automated driving — and the entrepreneurial spirit and innovations taking place in Israel play an instrumental part in this strategy,” Dinesh Paliwal, CEO and president of Harman, said in a statement (Times of Israel).
Market for LiDAR
A new report by Global Market Insights predicts that the market value of LiDAR will surge from US$1 billion at present to US$10 billion by 2025. During that time period, the market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30 percent in the Asia-Pacific region. A big chunk of its growth will come from the increasing number of smart city initiatives in countries like China, India, and Japan.
“The Europe LiDAR market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 20 percent over the projected time period due to the increasing use of advanced LiDAR solutions on various engineering projects on a large scale. Another factor that has acted as a catalyst in the usage of LiDAR solutions is the rising use of UAVs for various recreational & commercial purposes,” according to Globe News Wire.
The U.S. accounted for a 50 percent share of the LiDAR market in 2018. This has been attributed to the strong autonomous development initiatives in the region. The growing use of drones also contributes to the rise in the LiDAR market. Between 2019 and 2025, the UAV LiDAR market is expected to see a CAGR of 37 percent, driverless cars a CAGR of 50 percent, the topographic market a CAGR of 25 percent, and mechanical sector growth at 32 percent.