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Home / Technology / Alternative to Lidar? Startup Light launches $ 121M from SoftBank, Leica to expand self-driving cars

Alternative to Lidar? Startup Light launches $ 121M from SoftBank, Leica to expand self-driving cars




<div _ngcontent-c16 = "" innerhtml = "[196591001] Co-founder and CEO of Lightning, Dave Grannan, raised $ 121 million for his imaging platform to add value to robotics, drones, and especially self-driving vehicles Courtesy of Light

In February, Dave Grannan, co-founder and CEO of imaging startup Light flew to Tokyo for the first time since talks began with the venture capital arm of the Japanese billionaire to meet SoftBanks Masayoshi Son Www.cosmetic-business.com//showarti…p?art_id=743 In Son – Shoes and Tokyo and Silicon Valley, he had agreed to make a massive $ 1

21 million investment through his SoftBank Vision Fund Leica Camera was also added.

One big reason that Light was able to raise so much money was promises of robots, drones and, above all, self-driving cars. Light uses complex Sonic who has made great bets on Uber, Asia's grave and GM's self-propelled u. Nit Cruise quickly saw the application of Light in. Algorithms to combine images from multiple camera modules into a single high-quality image with depth autonomous vehicles as a possible replacement for Lidar, Grannan said. Light's technology is lighter and cheaper than Lidar's, which helps self-driving cars to see where they are going, but needs to be adapted to the automobile space

"At our second meeting in Tokyo, he said:" Where I believe that Am Autonomous driving has the most value, "Grannan said." We were like, "Oh, wow. & # 39; The application in the automotive industry was not an idea of ​​ourselves. Entrepreneurs are more focused on their domain space. We make cameras and smartphones, and maybe we thought about security. "

The new investment brings Light's total financing in Palo Alto, California, to $ 186 million, while Grannan refused to disclose the valuation, noting that it was a" good round "from before Grannan, 54, and Rajiv Laroia, who previously held R & D roles at Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs, founded Light 2013. Grannan, one A three-company serial entrepreneur previously served as the CEO of Vlingo, who delivered the first Siri voice-aware app, and speech recognition giant Nuance Communications acquired a patent for an undisclosed sum in 2012 after years of patent litigation.

Light's L16 camera More than 16 miniature camera lenses, 10 of which are activated each time the shutter button is pressed. Courtesy of Light

Light introduced its first in 2015 Camera, the L16, and sold it to consumers last year for $ 1,950. The L16 includes 16 miniature cameras, 10 of which are triggered each time a user presses the shutter button. (The camera software determines which 10 cameras deliver the best shot.) Grannan says his imaging technology will be built into a cell phone (he will not say which one) that will be available to consumers in September; The smartphone has four to nine cameras, which together give a high-quality photo. In the longer term, the company hopes to integrate its imaging into safety, robotics, automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. It could be useful, for example, for robots for delivering food or for aerial drones.

Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, who was Grannan's first contact with the venture firm, said in a statement that Light is "capable of dramatically reducing the size, weight, and cost of traditional cameras." paved the way for a new era of intelligent imaging applications ". At the meeting with Son, Grannan said, "Masa wanted to continue where we could apply it, where it really is transformative."

Masayoshi Son of SoftBank Group has completed oversized venture capital betting with its $ 100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund. (Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo / NurPhoto on Getty Images)

With SoftBank, Grannan said he and his team have talked to Uber, Grab and Cruise with the goal of having a prototype application, the Lidar in vehicles in the fourth Quarter 2019 available. "We are already in intensive discussions with the other investments," said Grannan. "This is my third company and the 11th round of venture funding I've built, and I've never seen such a network."

SoftBank's son has changed the landscape of venture capital with his massive $ 100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, which was an aggressive dealmaking spree. The company WeWork and the e-commerce giant FlipKart (recently acquired by Walmart) have, inter alia, purchased shares of more than $ 1 billion.

How will Son be involved in Light? "It's a good question, and I have to learn the answer to that," Grannan said. "I thought the process would be to go to Tokyo and kiss the ring and be blessed … I was pleasantly surprised."

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Co-founder and CEO Dave Grannan raised $ 121 million for his imaging platform, promising his value for robotics, drones and especially self-driving vehicles. Courtesy of Light

In February flew Dave Grannan, co-founder and CEO of Imaging Startup Light, to Tokyo to Meet SoftBank Masayoshi Son For the first time since talks began with the venture capital arm of the Japanese billionaire, after two more meetings in Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Son agreed Bringing Its SoftBank Vision Fund a Massive Investment of $ 121 Million in Light

One big reason that Light was able to raise so much money is the promise of robots, drones and, above all, self-driving cars. Light uses complex algorithms Pictures from several camera modules to a quality picture joke h depth. Son, the big bet on Uber, Asia's grave and GMs Self-propelled unit Cruise, has made, quickly saw that the application of light in autonomous vehicles as a possible replacement for lidar, said Grannan. Light's technology is lighter and cheaper than Lidar's, which helps self-driving cars to see where they are going, but needs to be adapted to the automobile space

"At our second meeting in Tokyo, he said:" Where I believe that Am Autonomous driving has the most value, "Grannan said." We were like, "Oh, wow. & # 39; The application to the automotive industry was not a thought of ourselves. The entrepreneurs are more focused on their domain area. We make cameras and smartphones, and maybe we thought about security. "

New investment brings Palo Alto, Calif. Total Light is $ 186 million, and while Grannan refused to disclose the valuation, he found that it was a" good round "of Grannan, 54, and Rajiv Laroia, who previously held R & D roles at Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs, founded Light 2013. Grannan, a serial entrepreneur with three companies, was previously the CEO of Vlingo, who supplied the first Siri speech recognition app, and speech recognizer Riese Nuance Communications acquired Vigano in 2012 after years of patent litigation for an undisclosed sum.

The Light L16 camera has 16 miniature camera lenses, 10 of which are activated each time the shutter button is pressed. Courtesy of Light

Light introduced its first camera in 2015, d The L16, and sold the device to consumers last year for $ 1,950. The L16 includes 16 miniature cameras, 10 of which are triggered each time a user presses the shutter button. (The camera software determines which 10 cameras deliver the best shot.) Grannan says his imaging technology will be built into a cell phone (he will not say which one) that will be available to consumers in September; The smartphone has four to nine cameras, which together give a high-quality photo. In the longer term, the company hopes to integrate its imaging into safety, robotics, automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. It could be useful, for example, for robots for delivering food or for aerial drones.

Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisors, who was Grannan's first contact with the venture firm, said in a statement that Light is "capable of dramatically reducing the size, weight, and cost of traditional cameras." paved the way for a new era of intelligent imaging applications ". At the meeting with Son, Grannan said, "Masa wanted to continue where we could apply it, where it really is transformative."

Masayoshi Son of the SoftBank Group makes oversized venture capital bets with his $ 100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund. (Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo / NurPhoto on Getty Images)

With SoftBank, Grannan said he and his team have talked to Uber, Grab and Cruise with the goal of having a prototype application, the Lidar in vehicles in the fourth Quarter 2019 available. "We are already in intensive discussions with the other investments," said Grannan. "This is my third company, and the 11th round of venture funding that I've collected, and I've never seen such a network."

SoftBank's Son Has With his huge SoftBank Vision Fund, who has embarked on an aggressive dealmaking wave, he has changed the landscape of venture capital. The company WeWork and the e-commerce giant FlipKart (recently acquired by Walmart) have, inter alia, purchased shares of more than $ 1 billion.

How will Son be involved in Light? "It's a good question, and I have to learn the answer to that," Grannan said. "I thought the process would be to go to Tokyo and kiss the ring and be blessed … I was pleasantly surprised."


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