The coffee machine is standing still, but the Blickfeld team keeps pushing forward.
These are truly extraordinary times. We at Blickfeld have also been contemplating the current situation and have taken measures to protect our employees as best we can while also helping to slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus. But how is this feasible for a company that not only has departments such as software, sales, HR and marketing teams at a central location, but also tests, calibrates and develops products in the very same office space? How can we fulfil our social responsibility in these extraordinary times, while at the same time ensuring our operations?
Working at your desk at home
Working from home is one of the more straightforward measures to ensure social distancing. By letting the team members work from home so that they do not have to go outside or use public transportation is already an important step towards minimizing contact with other people.
What sounds easy to manage, nevertheless requires some preparation and consideration. In addition to the appropriate hardware for working at your desk at home, the communication tools that allow meetings and discussions to continue must also be put into operation. The team spirit is an important part of the Blickfeld culture – so it is also an essential task to maintain it. We do this with regular video calls, sometimes for a short coffee break or a even Weißwurst breakfast. This way, nobody has to feel lonely while working from home.
Special protective measures
But not all Blickfeld teams can simply work from their kitchen table. Many of our colleagues work on the Cube or its components and therefore have to come to the office to use the laboratories and equipment. In order to enable continued operation here, we have taken special protective measures and have reduced personal contact between colleagues as much as possible. These measures enable us to protect our employees and customers in the best possible way while maintaining operation.
Digital meeting with the whole team
We find new ways, to conduct familiar formats, that define the way we work. Our daily stand-up meetings within the individual Blickfeld teams take place via video calls. We conduct measurements with cubes at home. We take part in panel discussions online. We plan to hold workshops digitally and remotely. We meet as usual on Monday mornings with the entire Blickfeld team – currently digitally in a large video call. Impressive with almost 100 participants.
These measures drastically change our day to day work and it also means switching off our beloved coffee machine to prevent social gatherings in the kitchen. Nevertheless, we are thrilled to see how constructively our entire team is pulling along and making it possible to keep the business going despite these disruptions.
Munich. Munich-based LiDAR start-up Blickfeld has completed its Series A financing round. The new financing was led by the venture capital unit of Continental together with Wachstumsfonds Bayern, which is managed by Bayern Kapital, with participation of the existing investors Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, TEV (Tengelmann Ventures) and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners. Blickfeld will use the new financial resources to ramp up production, qualify its LiDAR sensors for the automotive market and strengthen the application development and sales teams for industrial markets.
Blickfeld develops and produces LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors and software for environmental detection. The solid-state sensor developed by Blickfeld delivers high-resolution, three-dimensional environmental data and stands out due to its high performance even in adverse environmental conditions and its small size. Blickfeld’s patented technology is particularly advantageous in terms of its industrialization capability and enables highly automated production of the devices, allowing the company to meet the needs of the automotive mass market. The sensors are used in autonomous driving as well as in smart cities, industrial applications and security solutions.
The series A funding enables Blickfeld to ramp up production. “The safety of autonomous vehicles is based on LiDAR sensor technology. We see Blickfeld in a unique position here, as our technology stands out due to its mass market capability,” says Blickfeld co-founder Florian Petit. “But the mobility sector is not the only area of application for our LiDAR sensors and recognition software: Numerous other successful customer projects in logistics, smart cities or the security sector confirm our approach, as does the financial commitment of the venture capital unit of Continental, Bayern Kapital and our previous investors. We are now looking forward to taking the next steps into series production.”
Nils Berkemeyer, Venture Capital Manager at Continental, states: “Blickfeld’s industry-agnostic value proposition, i.e. reliability, performance and scalability, addresses various growth markets in automotive and beyond. What truly sets the company apart is the advanced technological maturity, which the team has achieved in an extremely short amount of time. Supported by a strong syndicate of VC investors and industry experts, Blickfeld now is in prime position to establish itself as a key player in future sensing technology.”
The start-up Blickfeld, founded by Dr. Mathias Müller, Dr. sc. Florian Petit and Rolf Wojtech, has grown to a team of now over 100 people since it was founded three years ago. Over the next few months, in particular the application development and sales teams will be further expanded so that the company can increasingly pursue potential in industrial applications in addition to the automotive market. In the coming months, the Blickfeld team will also concentrate on qualifying the LiDAR sensor’s core components for the automotive market and further expanding production.