Israel’s Newsight Imaging, the CMOS image sensor chipmaker for 3D machine vision and special analysis applications, has completed a $7 million Series A funding round, the company announced on Monday.
The investment round was led by the US firm Infinity Capital with the participation of Dr. George So, a seasoned entrepreneur who has worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies, and the owner of Hong Kong-based biotech company AIinnoBio which develops spectral analysis solutions.
Founded in 2016, Newsight Imaging develops advanced complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor chips, for various industries. The company specializes in portable and affordable 3D image sensing. It also develops machine vision and laser light detection and ranging-based devices for autonomous cars as well as sensor-based chips for barcode scanner devices that read 1D and 2D. The company also develops specifically designed sensors for the augmented reality and virtual reality markets.
The investment brings the company’s total funding to $15 million which includes governmental grants. The funds will help the Ness Tziona-based company expand its sales and marketing efforts, as well as broaden and accelerate product development, Newsight said in a statement.
“While the world came to an almost complete stop due to the coronavirus situation, Newsight’s team worked intensively to utilize our powerful machine vision chip capabilities with recent technology for water and beverage detection, and built a patent-pending device solution for at-home virus detection that is expected to enable fast recovery to normal market conditions and become a key factor that will allow normal life to resume,” said Newsight Imaging’s CEO Eli Assoolin.
Assoulin said the company will continue to use the guidance of Infinity Capital and Dr. George So’s strategic partnership to continue to Series B fundraising, which will “bring the company to much greater revenues and new exciting markets.”
The company has met a number of major milestones in the past year, according to the statement. This includes successfully completing a prototype design collaboration with automotive lighting system ZKW and successful pilots and engagements in the spectral analysis field with Mekorot, the national water company of Israel.
Recently its successful pilot of an at-home virus detection reference design tested at a leading Israeli medical center.
Claire Zhao, VP of Infinity Capital, has already joined Newsight’s Board of Directors, and Dr. George So, owner of AIinnoBio HK, will join as a board observer. Zhao said that Newsight’s “cutting-edge technological advantages and “the CIS chips with high frame rate” can “do a lot of firsts in the industry.”
“We are so impressed by Newsight’s ability to capture market opportunities, from the autonomous driving industry, machine vision, spectral water detection to coronavirus detection, the company always remains highly sensitive and flexible to the market, and is always prepared to face new challenges,” Zhao said.
Dr. George So said he is excited “to witness and also to participate in the development of applications for the chip, in particular, the possibilities of developing home diagnostic devices for viral and bacterial infections. The ability to detect specific spectral signatures of viruses and bacteria, coupled with the ease of sample preparations and portability of the diagnostic device, will significantly impact community prevention of any pandemics.”