Oryx Vision Raises $50M to Build a Groundbreaking Coherent LiDAR for Autonomous Vehicles
Oryx uses microscopic light-sensing antennas to build a powerful LiDAR, as simple as a digital camera. The company’s second funding round was led by Third Point Ventures and WRV
Petach Tikva, Israel (8 August 2017). Next-Generation automotive LiDAR innovator Oryx Vision announced today a $50M Series B funding round. Third Point Ventures and WRV led the round, 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 fundraise brings the total investment in Oryx to $67M.
Oryx builds a game-changing automotive LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), based on a radically innovative light sensing technology. A coherent flash system with no moving parts, it achieves the depth vision performance required for autonomous driving – with the simplicity and robustness of a digital camera.
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, and produces both range and velocity data for every point in its field of view. Such high performance, that will be critical for fully autonomous driving, is impossible with existing technologies.
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 employs an exceptional team of physicists, optical engineers, antenna designers, software developers, and signal processing experts. The Company uses the nanotechnology lab at Bar Ilan university, the alma mater of several of its leading scientists.
Rani Wellingstein, Oryx co-founder and CEO
“Oryx is building the first solution that will meet all the key requirements of automotive LiDARS – high performance, car durability and low price – without a tradeoff. We are delighted to receive a vote of confidence in our vision from such sophisticated investors, and to have the resources to bring this technology to market quickly and at the highest quality”.
Robert Schwarz, Managing Partner, Third Point Ventures
“It’s uncommon to discover a company that builds a completely new primary technology and creates a solution with dramatic commercial implications. Oryx does both. The company’s founders and team impressed us with their ability to execute an ambitious vision to capture one of the most exciting opportunities of our time”.
Lip Bu Tan, Managing Director, WRV
“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. Oryx’s innovation makes it possible”.
Adam Fisher, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
“Over the past year, Oryx has validated much of the promise we’ve identified in it when we first invested in the company. During that time, the space has heated up, as many industry players realized that active depth sensing is pivotal for autonomous driving and that existing solutions come short. Oryx is best placed to meet the challenge and become a winner in this market, and we welcome the new investors who share our belief”.