This startup wants to use light-based chips to make driverless cars safe. Check out the pitch deck Scantinel Photonics used to raise its $10 million Series A.
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- Scantinel Photonics has raised $10 million in Series A funding from PhotonDelta.
- The German startup uses photonics chips to make autonomous driving more precise and safe.
- Check out the 10-slide deck it used to secure its extension round.
Scantinel Photonics has raised $10 million in extended Series A funding from PhotonDelta.
The startup, based in Ulm, Germany, has designed a technology with the goal of enabling autonomous vehicles (AVs) to more precisely detect obstacles on the road, and block out interference while driving.
The startup says the game-changer is its use of photonics chips. Unlike electronic chips, these use light to transmit information in a more energy-efficient way. These photonics chips are used to make LiDAR solutions and devices — which are integrated into AVs, and key in helping vehicles to sense objects and estimate distances on the road.
The startup bills itself as a solution to the problem of current LiDAR tech being time-consuming and expensive to produce, with a limited light detection range of around 100 meters. Scantinel says it is pioneering a “new wave of LiDAR technology” that’s more immune to interference and precise in its imaging, said managing director Dr. Michael Richter.
“You can instantaneously get velocity information in imaging,” he added. “You can detect in each pixel, where the object is moving and how fast it’s moving.”
Cheaper sensors could help make self-driving cars safer, enabling them to detect debris or cargo more precisely, or identify objects in crowded spaces.
The startup aims to partner with Tier 1 suppliers and mobility providers, by supplying the LiDAR engines which can be integrated into the vehicles.
“There’s a lot of momentum on the truck side in the UK, where there’s shortages of drivers,” Richter told Insider. The LiDAR solutions’ use cases span everything from industrial automation in mining and agriculture, to traffic management and planning in cities, he added.
Given the expanding market size for AVs, the team was able to successfully close the Series A round amid the global tech downturn. Scantinel being “one of a handful of few players in the world” to provide this technology was also a boon while fundraising, Richter said.
“You need deep knowledge on the semiconductor part. You also need the optic competence to make this scanning happen, and the combination of both is hard to come by,” he added.
The Series A extension was led by PhotonDelta, a photonics ecosystem headquartered in the Netherlands which secured $1.1 billion from public and private investors to back 200 startups and develop photonics technology across Europe. Additional backing came from existing investors Scania Growth Capital and ZEISS Ventures, which Scantinel has spun out from.
With the fresh funds, the startup will grow its team and further develop the product.
Check out the 10-slide deck used to raise the capital.