Blickfeld’s “industry-agnostic” lidar products move towards production

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Blickfeld, a developer and producer of lidar sensors and software for environmental detection, successfully completed a Series A financing round. Led by Continental and Wachstumsfonds Bayern, with participation of the existing investors Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, TEV, and Unternehmertum Venture Capital Partners, this new financing will help to ramp up production, qualify lidar sensors for the automotive market, and strengthen the application development and sales teams for industrial markets.

“Blickfeld’s industry-agnostic value proposition, i.e. reliability, performance, and scalability, addresses various growth markets in automotive and beyond,” stated Nils Berkemeyer, Venture Capital Manager at Continental. “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.”

Build for the automotive, smart city, industrial, farming, and security sectors, Blickfeld’s technology delivers high-resolution, three-dimensional environmental data and high-performance, even in adverse environmental conditions. While the company’s focus is on the automotive market, its lidar products are also ready for other applications, such as collision avoidance, obstacle detection, and autonomous navigation with drones; allowing robots to track objects and people; integrating, automating, and managing the logistical flow of information and material goods in warehousing and logistics; as well as volume measurement and level sensing.

“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 massmarket capability,” said 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.”

Founded in 2017, Blickfeld has grown to a team of now over 100 people, and, while the company did not disclose the funding amount from this Series A round, in 2018 the company had raised a total of $10M in funding rounds. In 2019, the Munich-based company launched what they called the “smallest high-performance solid-state lidar”, a wide field-of-view lidar sensor, the Cube. Later, the Cube Range was introduced, a MEMS-based lidar sensor with a range of 150 meters with 10 percent reflection, or 250 meters with higher reflection. In addition, the company won the German award “The Spark”, and was present at CES 2020 with its own booth for the first time.

Over the next few months, the company will expand application development and sales teams to increasingly pursue potential in industrial applications in addition to the automotive market and concentrate on qualifying the lidar sensor’s core components for the automotive market.

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João Antunes

IT and videogames are João's topics of interest since a very early age. Videogames, the Internet, game consoles and computers became his normal toys, as result of being the son of a journalist writing about the infancy of the Web, the games industry and hardware in general. Small game reviews published on the first Portuguese computer games magazine, back in the early 2000s ignited a passion – writing - he now pursues, along with his other interests: programming, web designing and hardware. Technology in general makes him tick.

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