TriEye, an Israel-based semiconductor company pioneering short wave infrared (SWIR) imaging technology for adverse weather and nighttime conditions, today announced that it’s expanded its series A round from $17 million to $19 million with an investment from Porsche. CEO Avi Bakal says that the newfound funds, which bring the startup’s total raised to date to $22 million, will accelerate ongoing product development, operations, and hiring.
“Our mission is to save lives and reduce risks of accidents in all weather and lighting conditions,” added Bakal. “The expansion of our series A round and the addition of Porsche as a strategic investor further prove that SWIR is a critical component in the necessary sensor fusion solution to enable safer and better advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles.”
TriEye was founded in 2016 by Bakal, vice president of R&D Omer Kapach, and CTO Uriel Levy after nearly a decade of research by Levy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he’s an assistant professor. Its flagship IP68-rated Raven camera — a CMOS sensor that TriEye claims is more compact (3 by 3 by 2.5 centimeters), higher in resolution (1,280 by 960 pixels), and cheaper (by up to a factor of 1,000) than conventional solutions — can capture crystal-clear frames in fog and dust as well as low light, and it’s expected to launch sometime next year.
TriEye also provides software and AI-powered remote sensing platforms it says are based on well over a decade of nano-photonics research, and that were developed by a team of experts in device physics, process design, electro-optics, and deep learning. The company asserts the full-stack approach positions it well to tackle verticals beyond automotive, like mobile, industrial, security, and optical inspection.
“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 Porsche executive board and development member Michael Steiner in a 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.”
TriEye’s backers include Intel Capital, cybersecurity entrepreneur Marius Nacht, and Grove Ventures (which is headed by TriEye chairman Dov Moran). It competes to an extent with sensor suppliers such as Oregon-based Flir, which manufactures thermal vision cameras embedded with machine learning algorithms, and Boston-based startup WaveSense, which is developing ground-penetrating radars (GPR) for autonomous cars.