Innovusion Raises $64M Series B for Automotive Lidar

Company, which supplies sensors for NIO's ET7 autonomous vehicle, plans to expand lidar R&D.

Innovusion supplies lidar for autonomous vehicles such as NIO's ET7 autopilot super sensing system.

Innovusion supplies lidar for autonomous vehicles such as NIO's ET7 autopilot super sensing system.

Innovusion Inc. today said it has raised $64 million in Series B financing. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said it will use the funding to increase its production capabilities, support supply chain partners, and expand its its research and development around advanced lidar (light detection and ranging) technologies.

Innovusion said its sensors are widely used across autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and high-speed rail transit systems. The company's stated mission is to empower safer and smarter mobility through lidar technology research, product safety, and efficient cost structures.

“I am optimistic about lidar’s role in the future of autonomous driving and automakers' adoption of lidars for their autonomous vehicles during the assembly process,” stated Junwei Bao, co-founder and CEO of Innovusion. “According to the Yole report, the autonomous driving lidar market is expected to reach $1.7 billion by 2025. In addition, the vehicle-to-everything [V2X] market for smart transportation will also have huge room for growth for lidars.”

Innovusion builds 'flexible gaze'

Innovusion was founded in 2016 and has core development teams in Sunnyvale and Suzhou, China. It said its image-grade, long-range lidar provides a complete perception and road management solution.

The company claimed that its lidar has a 120-degree horizontal viewing angle, ultra-high resolution, and the industry’s longest detection range, capable of “seeing” up to 500 m (1,640 ft.). Innovusion said its “flexible gaze” function generates a detailed three-dimensional point of view to track vehicles and pedestrians while simultaneously maintaining high-resolution perception across the entire field of view, even in low-light conditions.

The sensor has been a key building block in Baidu's deployment of Apollo Intelligent Transportation City projects across cities such as Beijing, Changsha, and Cangzhou, according to the company.

NIO invests in lidar for ET7 NAD

Temasek, BAI Capital, and Joy Capital led Innuvision's Series B funding. Existing investors NIO Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, and F-Prime Capital also participated in the round.

In 2018, Nio Capital led Innuvision's $30 million Series A round, with participation from Eight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital, and Banyan Capital. The Series B round brings Innovusion’s total funding to over $100 million.

“As a Silicon Valley company growing rapidly in both U.S. and China, I am very pleased to have so many well-known global investment institutions participate in our Series B financing round,” said Bao.

“As autonomous driving technology matures, more and more producers of electric vehicles will choose front-mounted lidars as key components in their perception solutions,” said Ian Zhu, managing partner of NIO Capital. “Innovusion’s lidar is recognized as an industry leader, given its performance and feasibility for mass production. With ample opportunity for future growth, we are very confident that Innovusion will stay at the forefront of lidar technology, autonomous driving, and on the road.”

In January 2021, NIO announced the ET7, its first vehicle with full-stack autonomous driving capabilities, scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022. The vehicle is equipped with an image-grade, ultra-long-range lidar developed jointly by Innovusion and NIO and is a key component of ET7’s NIO Autonomous Driving (NAD) system.

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Innovusion supplies lidar for autonomous vehicles such as NIO's ET7 autopilot super sensing system.

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