Samsung Catalyst, SoftBank Korea invest $8m in Israeli startup Innoviz

High performance, Solid State LiDAR at Mass Market Price to enable fully autonomous vehicles (PRNewsfoto/Innoviz Technologies Ltd)

Early stage venture capital arms of Samsung and SoftBank have joined the Series B funding round of Israeli startup Innoviz Technologies, which provides light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensing solutions for the automobile industry.

The participation of Samsung Catalyst and SoftBank Ventures Korea extended the startup’s Series B financing to $73 million, and its total equity funding to $82 million.

Innoviz announced it had secured $65 million last month. Backers include Delphi Automotive PLC, Magna International, 360 Capital Partners, Glory Ventures, Naver and others, in addition to all Series A investors. Singapore-based VC firm Vertex Ventures led the $9 million series A round in 2016.

The company said the follow-on funding from two South Korea-based investors came as its LiDAR solution began mass production.

“LiDAR is a crucial technology for enabling autonomous vehicles to sense their surroundings, and Innoviz has proven that it is much farther ahead than other LiDAR developers in bringing powerful, dependable LiDAR to mass market,” said JP Lee, managing director and partner of SoftBank Ventures Korea.

Innoviz will use the investment to grow its team of R&D, operations, marketing and business development.

The company is developing two LiDAR products, InnovizPro – a testing and development platform for auto manufacturers, tier-1 suppliers and technology companies, which is expected to go to the market in the first quarter of 2018, and InnovizOne, an automotive grade LiDAR device for autonomous driving stages, anticipated to begin shipping in 2019.

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