Oryx Vision Raised $50 million to Build a Coherent LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
13 August, 2017
Oryx uses microscopic light-sensing antennas to build a powerful Coherent light LiDAR. The company’s second funding round was led by Third Point Ventures and WRV
Oryx Vision from Petach Tikva, Israel, has completed its $50 million Series B funding round, planned to finance the development of a new kind of automotive LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor. The round was led by Third Point Ventures and WRV, which was joined by Union Tech Ventures, and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Maniv Mobility and Trucks VC. A mere 15 months after its first funding round, this fund raise brings the total investment in Oryx to $67 million.
Oryx builds a unique LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), based on a coherent flash system with no moving parts. Autonomous vehicles use LiDAR to create a 3D view of their surroundings by sending laser pulses and detecting their returning signals. Whereas all other LiDARs do that by tracing the energy of light particles with photodetectors, Oryx uses silicon-made microscopic antennas to detect light wave frequencies. This enables a low-cost system that’s a million times more sensitive, is resistant to interference from the sun and other LiDARs.
Oryx will use the new funds to accelerate its development activities and to intensify its commercial engagements with car OEMs, tier-1 supplier and technology players. Having demonstrated the unique capabilities of its technology over the past year, the company expects to ship units for car-mounted testing in the second half of 2018. The Company was founded in 2009 by David Ben-Bassat, who created the core light sensing technology behind its system.
In 2016 he was joined by Rani Wellingstein, as co-founder, and the Company was renamed Oryx Vision. Oryx is based in Israel and uses the nanotechnology lab at Bar Ilan university. Lip Bu Tan, Managing Director, WRV, said that Oryx tackles the LiDAR challenge by innovating its fundamental light sensing element. “As hardware and semiconductor investors, this is very exciting to us. We believe building a true solid-state, silicon-based system will be essential for creating automotive-grade high performance LiDAR.”