Israeli road visibility chipmaker TriEye nabs investments from Porsche, Intel

Company raises $74 million from investors including billionaire Marius Nacht, Samsung Ventures, and Israel’s Discount Capital

Ricky Ben-David is a Times of Israel editor and reporter

Illustration of a Porsche car equipeed with a TriEye SWIR camera. (Dr Ing.h.c.F Porsche AG)
Illustration of a Porsche car equipeed with a TriEye SWIR camera. (Dr Ing.h.c.F Porsche AG)

Israeli startup TriEye, a developer of short-wave-infrared (SWIR) sensing chips that enable drivers to see in adverse weather and at night, has raised a $74 million funding round with investors such as Intel, Porsche, and Samsung, according to a company announcement this week.

The investment was led by London-based firm M&G Investments and United States company Varana Capital, with the participation of Samsung Ventures, Samsung’s investment arm, Israel’s Discount Capital, and follow-on investors Intel Capital, Porsche Ventures, billionaire entrepreneur Marius Nacht (co-founder of cybersecurity giant Check Point), and Israel’s Grove Ventures.

The funding round brings TriEye’s total capital raised to $96 million. The firm raised seed investment of $3 million led by Grove Ventures in November 2017. In 2019, TriEye raised a Series A funding round of $19 million led by Intel Capital, with Nacht, Grove Ventures, and Porsche.

TriEye was founded in 2017 by Avi Bakal, the CEO, Omer Kapach, a VP of R&D, and Prof. Uriel Levy, the chief technology officer, after nearly a decade of advanced nanophotonics research by Levy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The company developed a high-definition SWIR camera that is smaller in size, has a higher resolution, and costs a fraction of the price of current technologies, TriEye says.

Its product, SEDAR (Spectrum-Enhanced Detection And Ranging), is an imaging and ranging solution for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) which the company says is “the first complete solution capable of producing both HD image-data and a detailed depth-map in all visibility conditions.”

SEDAR allows ADAS and AV systems to achieve “unprecedented vision capabilities” under common adverse weather and low-light conditions such as fog, dust or night-time,” the company has said.

According to the announcement, TriEye will use the new investment to commercialize the product.

TriEye founders, left to right: Prof. Uriel Levy, the CTO, Avi-Bakal, the CEO, and and Omer Kapach, VP research and development. (David Garb)

“We believe SEDAR will change the automotive perception market as we know it today. And this is just the beginning,” said Bakal. “Thanks to the support of our new and existing investors, TriEye is accelerating its growth as we look to become a critical player in smart, safe, reliable, and cost-effective automated vision systems.”

Patrick Huke, head of Porsche Ventures in Europe and Israel said the organization was “more convinced than ever of TriEye’s unique sensor technology, the exceptional team, and the huge market potential. Our early investment and the partnership between TriEye and Porsche are… example[s] of success for the exciting innovation ecosystem that Israel has to offer, which we will make use of increasingly in the future.”

TriEye already works with manufacturers based in Europe, Asia, and the US, including Porsche, Continental, Japanese auto parts maker DENSO, and US hardware company Trimble.

In addition to the automotive industry, TriEye says it is also working with leading players in other industries such as biometrics, industrial imaging, agriculture, and heavy machinery.

Shoshanna Solomon contributed to this report.

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