Israeli Visual Assistance Company OrCam Valued At $1B
February 20, 2018 | Israel visual aid company OrCam, which has developed a wearable and portable device that attaches to the frames of eyeglasses to assist those that have lost their vision, has completed a funding round that currently values the Jerusalem-based company at $1 billion, CEO Ziv Aviram announced Tuesday, according to Reuters. This puts them on the path towards a planned initial public offering (IPO), Aviram said. The company raised $30.4 million by selling a 3 percent stake to investors like Israel’s Clal Insurance and Meitav Dash. This brings OrCam’s total amount raised to $130.4 million thus far. The successful funding round was announced at the same time as the launch of the newest version of OrCam’s wireless smart camera, which attaches to glasses. The camera reads texts, barcodes, and even has facial recognition features, speaking the information into the ear of the user. OrCam was developed by Aviram and Amnon Shashua, the same Israelis who founded Mobileye, a company that has developed a vision-based technology that provides driver assistance for autonomous vehicles and was acquired last year by digital tech giant Intel for $15.3 billion in Israel’s biggest exit to date. Aviram also said that he estimates OrCam’s growth to surpass the success of Mobileye. “I think the potential for OrCam is even bigger than Mobileye,” he told Reuters, “This technology is endless. We just started to understand the tip of the iceberg of what can be done.” In a year, the company hopes to raise an additional $100 million from global funds before going public in the U.S. He hopes by then the company will be valued between $1.5 – $2 billion before it is listed on the U.S. exchange. OrCam’s customer base is expected to expand to include those suffering from dyslexia or general fatigue while reading, according to Aviram, with the company beginning to yield a profit in 2019.