Swift Navigation Inc. today announced that it has completed a $100 million Series D financing round. The San Francisco-based company has developed positioning technology for automotive and autonomous systems.
Swift said its platform can improve location accuracy from several meters to centimeter-level and is used by millions of devices around the world. The company added that its technology is trusted by users across industries, enabling safer driving, improving efficiency for last-mile delivery and commercial transport operations, and increasing accuracy for mobile devices. It said precise positioning creates new possibilities for robotics, rail, and machine control.
Platform offers centimeter-level accuracy
Since its Series C funding, Swift Navigation said it has refined its positioning service and expanded its coverage across continents “to meet the needs of an on-demand economy requiring higher levels of autonomy.” The company said its customers include automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, mobile handset and application providers, and builders of Internet of Things (IoT) systems for mass-market applications.
Swift claimed that its technology improves on standard Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) navigation, which has 3 to 30 m (9.8 to 98.4 ft.) accuracy, to centimeter-level accuracy. It supports advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) and can improve safety and routing efficiency, resulting in cost savings, according to the company.
Skylark is Swift's global wide-area, cloud-based GNSS positioning service. Starling is its receiver-agnostic client software positioning engine. The company also offers a wide variety of Swift and third-party-compatible receiver options.
Swift said its platform works with single and multi-frequency, multi-constellation automotive and commercial-grade GNSS measurement engines and chipsets. It claimed that its components now power autonomous sensor suites for several of the largest automotive and commercial vehicle fleets on the road today.
Swift Navigation takes Skylark global
Skylark is now a global network, delivering real-time, secure and highly-available precise location data across the contiguous U.S., Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, as well as a growing number of countries worldwide, including Canada and Taiwan, said Swift. The company said it can deliver absolute positioning at the continental scale required by today’s safety-critical applications.
Skylark has been independently rated against other Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) networks as providing the highest levels of safety, accuracy, and availability, Swift Navigation said.
Swift said it has built specific software and receiver platforms for each application—from automotive and mobile to industrial machine control—to solve the unique problems that precision location poses for each industry.
In addition, Swift said its technology is part of improvements in mobile phone positioning, supporting new applications, such as navigation, traffic, and augmented reality. The company supports customers in tracking and improving safety across continent-wide rail networks.
Swift said it provides enhanced real-time kinematics (RTK) to next-generation machine control and guidance systems for robotics, agriculture, construction, and a host of other applications.
Investors bet on autonomous transport
SK Inc. and Potentum Partners led Swift Navigation's Series D round with support from existing investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Eclipse Ventures, and EPIQ Capital Group. New investors included FM Capital, OVN Capital, TELUS Ventures, TWM Venture Co., Buckley Ventures, and Schox Venture Capital. To date, the company has raised over $200 million in funding.
“We have an amazing group of investors behind us and are honored to see the many customers who are using Swift technology at such incredible scale as they build the future of transportation and automation,” remarked Timothy Harris, CEO of Swift. “Thank you to our loyal partners and investors at NEA, Eclipse, and EPIQ, and we welcome the support of our new investors to help us deliver precise positioning across the world.”
“We are delighted to be the lead investor for this financing transaction as part of our investment strategy in high-tech software companies,” said Subeom Lee, chairman of SK Inc. “Swift’s high-precision positioning solution is best suited for automotive, smartphone, robotic, and future smart devices with its cutting-edge, cost-efficient and hardware-agnostic technology. We believe that Swift will contribute to advancing the new era of driverless technology.”
David Simons, founding partner of Potentum Partners, added: “Centimeter-level position accuracy on a continent-wide scale is impressive enough, but what really excites us is Swift’s ability to provide it with extraordinary reliability, putting absolute-position data at the core of safety-critical features in automotive, automation, and machine control.”