LiDAR start-up Blickfeld increases seed funding to $ 10 million

Munich. The Munich-based LiDAR start-up Blickfeld has increased its seed funding to $ 10 million. All existing investors Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures, and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners participated in the round. The new financial resources will be used for the first series production and to further strengthen the team.

Blickfeld develops and produces LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors for environmental detection. The solid-state sensor developed by Blickfeld provides high-resolution, three-dimensional environmental data and is used in autonomous driving, in robotics and for the Internet of Things. Blickfeld’s patented technology makes high-tech LiDAR devices suitable for mass production.

The increase from $ 4.3 million to $ 10 million in the seed financing round completed just a few months ago will further accelerate the company’s rapid growth. Blickfeld co-founder and CEO, Dr. Mathias Müller: “We have made very good progress with our LiDAR technology in recent months. High international demand confirms the efficiency of the Blickfeld solution. The expansion in seed financing will enable us to bring our first series product to market even faster.”

Ulrich Eisele, Managing Director at Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, says: “Results from the first customer projects speak for themselves. That’s why we are expanding our activities at Blickfeld. We are convinced that Blickfeld’s LiDAR technology can be a key building block for the future market of autonomous driving.”

Founded in 2017 by Dr. Mathias Müller, Dr. Florian Petit and Rolf Wojtech, the start-up has grown considerably in recent months. Today, the Blickfeld team already numbers more than 35 employees. The company plans on hiring additional engineers, automotive experts and computer scientists in the upcoming months, as well as expanding its business-development, marketing and sales teams.

About Blickfeld 

Founded in 2017 and based in Munich, Germany, Blickfeld is a provider of cutting-edge LiDAR technology for autonomous mobility and IoT applications. The company has developed proprietary LiDAR technology based on patented silicon MEMS mirrors and commercial off-the-shelf components. The Blickfeld LiDAR product family meets the highest performance requirements at the cost and size needed for mass market adoption. Due to their range of configurable features, the Blickfeld LiDAR product family provides solutions for multiple use-cases. Blickfeld’s team is made up of experienced professionals with renowned expertise in the fields of electronics, optics, MEMS and software. The company is backed by venture capital investors including Fluxunit (the corporate venture arm of lighting company Osram), High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures, and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners.

About Fluxunit – Osram Ventures 

Fluxunit is the independent venture capital unit of OSRAM. Building on OSRAM’s role as market leader, Fluxunit invests in high-tech start-ups that go beyond OSRAM’s core business and have the potential to break through and renew existing light-based technologies and business models. Fluxunit’s goal is to support, promote and accelerate the development of start-ups not only through investments but also through access to OSRAM’s resources as a global high-tech company.

www.fluxunit.de

About HTGF

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start-ups. With € 892.5 million in total investment volume across three funds (€ 272 million in HTGF I, € 304 million in HTGF II and € 316.5 million for HTGF III) and an international partner network, HTGF has already backed up 500 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts help guiding the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups across a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemicals and life sciences. Up to now, external investors have invested over € 1,8 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,300 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully exited shares of more than 90 companies.

Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.

www.high-tech-gruenderfonds.de/en

About Tengelmann Venture Capital 

Tengelmann Ventures (TEV) is one of Germany’s leading venture capital investors and has invested in over 50 companies over the past five years, many of which have become global players and market leaders in their particular segment. TEV focuses mainly on early- and later-stage investment in technology start-ups, internet marketplaces, and consumer internet companies. The team funds companies worldwide in the role as lead, co-lead or co-investor. In close cooperation with its global network of venture capitalists, professionals and consultants, Tengelmann Ventures always strives to identify promising start-ups and to support the development of its portfolio companies.

www.tev.de/en

About Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners 

Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners (UVC Partners) is a Munich-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology-based start-ups in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. UVC Partners focuses on investments in the areas of industrial technologies, smart enterprises and mobility. The fund typically invests between € 0.5 – 3 million initially and up to € 12 million in total per company. Portfolio companies benefit from the extensive investment and exit experience of the management team as well as from the close cooperation with UnternehmerTUM, Europe’s leading innovation and business crea tion center. With over 180 employees and more than 100 industry partners, UnternehmerTUM can draw from many years of experience in establish ing young companies. This cooperation enables UVC Partners to offer start-ups unique access to talent, industry customers and other financial partners.

www.uvcpartners.com

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Blickfeld nominated for the EIT Digital Challenge 2018

The EIT Digital Challenge aims to identify the best digital deep tech innovations – complex disruptive solutions that are built around unique and differentiated scientific or technological advances and fuel the digital transformation. The 25 finalists come from 11 different European countries and were selected out of 200 applications.

The finalists will compete in the EIT Digital Challenge 2018 for international growth support worth €750,000 in total. The winners will be awarded at the final pitch event in Brussels in October.

High-definition 200 scan line LiDAR images of Munich’s Siegestor

LiDARs send out rapid pulses of laser light. The pulses hit a surface, are reflected and return to the LiDAR. A detector then measures each pulse’s time of flight. Thereby, the LiDAR can calculate the distance between itself and the target with high accuracy. By repeating this in quick succession the LiDAR builds up a high-definition ‘point cloud’ of the scene it is measuring.

Blickfeld LiDARs are equipped with a proprietary silicon MEMS mirror, which is specifically designed for LiDAR applications. Besides features like long range and wide field of view, it allows you to adjust scanning parameters. So you can flexibly adjust the number of scan lines per frame, making it possible to create high definition images with up to 200 scan lines.

Blickfeld is the winner of this year’s DAHO.AM start-up competition

“You made it. You fought. You convinced. You deserve it.” Those words are written on the DAHO.AM start-up challenge’s winner certificate. And we are beyond proud to have them hanging in our office.

Blickfeld wins prestigious BMVI Pitch

At the 3rd BMVI Startup Pitch on July 5, 2018, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer honored innovative business ideas for mobility 4.0. Previously, Blickfeld and the other 19 finalists had the opportunity to present their ideas and business models to a top-class jury at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.

For more details on the event visit:

https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Artikel/DG/dritter-bmvi-startup-pitch.html

LiDAR – Technological key for environment perception?

“Yes, it definitely is” says Florian Petit, tech-savvy founder of Blickfeld. “Light detection and ranging” a.k.a. LiDAR presents the latest possibility and most promising technology set to revolutionize many perception needs of the next generation of intelligent machines – with focus on the automotive industry as well as many other sub-segments around the Internet of Things (IoT)

When it comes to environment perception, nowadays it is all about LiDAR. The LiDAR technology allows a direct geometric measurement of distances regarding objects and provides a distance image, not a color image. The advantage is that data can be very effectively evaluated by computer algorithms, distances to other cars can be measured directly, for example. LiDAR technology produces a point cloud image, which is a digital twin of the real world. Dimensions of scenes, people or cars can be portrayed incredibly accrately. In combination with software, LiDAR systems work threefold starting with capturing scenes, followed by real-time perception and finally connecting multiple data sources for analysis.

Today, LiDAR systems prove to be an attractive alternative to cameras and radars with LiDAR bearing significant advantages – from high range and resolution up to a wide field of view. The question is not “if” but “when” LiDAR systems will rule different markets. LiDAR faces many challenges. Most important, as of now; products are still very expensive, hardly available, and not fully reliable.

“This is where we come in” says Florian. Blickfeld developed a totally new microfabricated MEMS silicon scanner. “We strive to provide a solution that is highly performant and mechanically robust with a high production scalability.” Next to performance and reliability being key for diverse applications (e.g. autonomous driving or high-safety solutions), a high production scalability means access for the mass market – a key ambition Blickfeld fully strives for.

Finally, it can be said that every testing car today as well as every consumer car tomorrow most likely will be equipped with LiDAR – an incredible potential for now and the future.

Autonomous Traffic & Logistics Innovation Award 2018

Blickfeld is the winner of the Autonomous Traffic & Logistics Innovation Award 2018!

In the run-up to the conference, 15 international start-ups with the most promising solutions in the field of autonomous transport and logistics were selected by a top-class jury. On the day of the event, they presented their products and services to the expert audience in 3-minute pitches on stage and in the innovation exhibition. The audience award also went to Blickfeld. A total of 56 startups from Europe, Israel and the USA applied for participation in the Innovation Forum and the award.

Blickfeld wins 1st prize at mobility fair Hypermotion and goes SXSW

Blickfeld was honored to be invited to present its technology and business solution for mobility at the Hypermotion fair on Tuesday at Messe Frankfurt.

The day started with talks on autonomous driving and connected mobility along with many companies exhibiting their products for mobility, smart cities and intelligent infrastructure such as BVG and Metrilus.

The set of presentations included talks from Rydies, Drivo and other mobility startups. The Blickfeld talk was held by CEO Dr. Mathias Müller. It won the jury’s attention and Blickfeld the first price among the new technology startups. With it comes a free ticket to the fair SXSW in Austin, TX.

Picture source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Blickfeld raises $4.25 million in a seed funding round

We are thrilled to anounce a $4.25 million (€3.6 million) financing round in order to speed up the development of our low-cost, high-performance solid-state LiDAR system.

Munich – October 2017. Blickfeld has developed and demonstrated a unique light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology that is solely based on commercial off-the-shelf and silicon components. It can be manufactured in low-cost mass fabrication and meets high automotive performance requirements. Now, we are thrilled to announce a $4.25 million seed financing round led by Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners.

Autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars, robots, and drones, need to ‘see’ and ‘understand’ the world around them to safely navigate and operate. Blickfeld develops LiDAR systems by using a proprietary technology that creates high-definition, three-dimensional geometric maps. In the automotive industry, LiDAR is considered one of the decisive technologies towards autonomous driving.

Our focus is on bringing high-performance automotive LiDAR systems to the mass market. By using commercial off-the-shelf and silicon components, we have developed and demonstrated a unique technology that can be produced in low-cost mass fabrication and meets the technical performance specifications required by car OEMs. This is achieved by employing a patent-pending scanner technology which merges the best of both silicon microfabrication and already established LiDAR concepts. This advanced approach closes the gap between today’s high-cost systems and the automotive mass-market needs, and thus enables safe and affordable autonomous transportation.

Blickfeld is backed by a strong consortium: Fluxunit is the corporate venture capital arm of OSRAM, an internationally leading lighting company. On the technology side, it brings deep technical expertise on the component level (e.g for lasers or for state-of-the-art optical sensors) to the table. On the market side, Blickfeld will benefit from the access to in-depth market knowledge and to top-tier automotive customers. Furthermore, Fluxunit is able to offer strong know-how in the areas of industrialization, electronics development, quality management and intellectual property.

High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is Europe’s most active seed-stage investor with over 450 investments. HTGF provides funding for technology-driven startups and helps them to successfully enter the market. Startups benefit from HTGF’s investment experience and expertise as well as from the access the extensive network of corporations, other investors, industry experts and managers.

Tengelmann Ventures (TEV) is one of Germany’s largest venture capital funds and has invested in over 50 companies over the past five years, many of which have become global players and market leaders in their particular segment. TEV has made a couple of investments in the automotive space and is among others an investor in Uber.

Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners continues to position itself as a leading venture capital investor in the field of mobility after having already made investments in companies such as Europe’s leading bus company Flixbus, car-sharing solution aggregator Carjump (sold to Peugeot Renault/Groupe PSA) and connected-mobility provider Vimcar. Moreover, UVC Partners has a close connection to the recently launched Munich-based Digital Hub Mobility, a cooperation between the German government and industry players such as Audi, BMW, Daimler, IBM, Infineon and Facebook that is managed by UnternehmerTUM, Germany’s leading innovation and startup center.

Together, the investor consortium is able to support the team with connections to industry partners such as automotive OEMs and suppliers as well as with technical expertise on the component level and in the industrialization of the technology. Moreover, it is able to provide substantial follow-on investment in later rounds. “We are convinced that Blickfeld and its innovative ray-guidance technique can be an important enabler for bringing LiDAR to the vehicle mass market,” notes Dr. Ulrich Eisele, Managing Director of Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures.

“We are thrilled to have concluded our seed financing round with such experienced partners. We are very much looking forward to the joint journey. The funds will be used to speed up our development and to enter first trials with automotive OEMs. We are planning to provide first systems to our OEM partners in early 2018. Our team will be expanded: We are especially looking for talent to join our Munich-based team,” Florian Petit, founder of Blickfeld, explains.

Winner CarIT Startup Factory

We are happy to announce that we are the winner of the CarIT Startup Factory contest.

The semi-final phase for the carIT Startup Factory 2017 powered by Cisco is over and the winners have been determined: Blickfeld and MotionTag convinced the carIT jury with their solutions.