Intel Capital led a $17M investement in SWIR Camera Developer, TriEye

28 May, 2019

By using CMOS-based sensor, TriEye managed to reduce the costs of its Automotive SWIR camera by a factor of 1,000 compared to rival InGaAs-based solutions

The innovator of Short Wave Infra Red (SWIR) sensing technology, TriEye from Tel Aviv, announced a $17M Series A funding round led by Intel Capital. Other investors include Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies, and TriEye’s existing investor Grove Ventures, headed by TriEye chairman Dov Moran (inventor of the USB flash drive and co-founder of M-Systems). Since inception, TriEye has raised over $20M, including a seed investment of $3M led by Grove Ventures in November 2017.

TriEye’s HD SWIR camera will allow Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles to achieve flawless vision capabilities under bad weather and low-light conditions such as fog, dust or night-time. Initial samples are expected to enter the market in 2020. SWIR technology is known in defense and aerospace industries, but those systems are based on sensitive InGaAs sensors and are too expensive for mass-market applications.

Similar to a common digital camera, TriEye’s SWIR technology is CMOS-based sensor, enabling the scalable mass-production and reduction of the costs by a factor of 1,000 compared to InGaAs-based technology. TriEye was founded in 2016 by Avi Bakal (CEO), Omer Kapach (VP R&D) and Prof. Uriel Levy (CTO), after nearly a decade of advanced nano-photonics research by Prof. Levy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Avi Bakal, CEO and co-founder of TriEye, said: “Low visibility conditions such as fog, darkness and dust, and hazards such as black ice on the road, are some of the main contributors to injuries and fatalities in car crashes. In the US alone, around 21% of all vehicle crashes – nearly 1.2 million annually – are weather related and often involve low visibility. Our mission is to save lives, reduce risks of accidents in these kind of safety critical conditions and do this in a very cost efficient way.”

Intel Capital Israel’s Managing Director Yair Shoham, who joined TriEye’s board, added: “As the automotive industry transitions to autonomous driving, demand for sensor technologies is expected to grow rapidly. TriEye technology has the potential to enhance traditional camera functionalities by increasing performance in low visibility conditions in a way that complements vision-based camera sensor technologies. Intel Capital is delighted to support the TriEye team as it works to deliver on its vision.”

Also joining the company’s board are Ophir Shoham, former Rear Admiral and former Director of Defense R&D Directorate in the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MAFAT), and Ido Yablonka, former VP and General Manager of Yahoo Israel. While TriEye’s primary target market is the automotive industry, its technology is highly applicable to a wide range of other sectors, including mobile, industrial, security and optical inspection. The company intends to address challenges and opportunities in these fields in the upcoming future.

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Posted in: Automotive , Deals and Investments , ElectroOptics