German sports car manufacturer Porsche has made an investment in Israeli fabless semiconductor company TriEye, expanding its Series A funding round to $19 million. Intel Capital led the initial $17 million investment round back in May.
Other investors in that round included Marius Nacht, the co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies, and existing investor Grove Ventures, headed by TriEye chairman Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB flash drive and co-founder of M-Systems.
Founded in 2016, TriEye developed sensing technology that will allow Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles to enhance vision capabilities under common adverse weather (fog, dust) and low-light or night-time conditions.
The company’s product, the TriEye Raven, is an affordable HD Short-Wave-Infra-Red (SWIR) camera in a miniaturized format, which supports easy in-vehicle mounting behind the car’s windshield. Its primary target market is the automotive industry, but TriEye says its technology is highly applicable to a wide range of other sectors, including mobile, industrial, security and optical inspection.
TriEye’s technology is based on nearly a decade of advanced nano-photonics research by Professor Uriel Levy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Levy, who serves as TriEye CTO, co-founded the company alongside Avi Bakal, its CEO, and Omer Kapach, the VP R&D.
The company has raised $22 million since it was founded, including a seed investment of $3 million led by Grove Ventures in November 2017.
TriEye said in a statement that the additional funding by Porsche will be used for ongoing product development and operations as well as team growth.
“TriEye is a promising technology company led by an exceptionally strong team with experience in the areas of nanophotonics, deep learning, and the development of semiconductor components,” said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche, in the statement. “We see great potential in this sensor technology that paves the way for the next generation of driver assistance systems and autonomous driving functions. SWIR can be a key element: it offers enhanced safety at a competitive price.”
“Our mission is to save lives and reduce risks of accidents in all weather and lighting conditions,” said Bakal. “The expansion of our Series A round and the addition of Porsche as a strategic investor further proves that SWIR is a critical component in the necessary sensor fusion solution to enable safer and better ADAS and AV.”