Israel’s Innoviz to trim 13% of its workforce in cost-cutting push

The Nasdaq-listed maker of sensors for self-driving cars, which employs about 500 workers, is realigning operations to extend its cash runway amid a competitive market environment

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Innoviz shares start trading on Nasdaq on April 6, 2021, after its merger with a SPAC was completed. (Courtesy)
Innoviz shares start trading on Nasdaq on April 6, 2021, after its merger with a SPAC was completed. (Courtesy)

Israel’s Innoviz Technologies, a maker of sensors for self-driving cars, announced on Wednesday that it is trimming 13 percent of its workforce to cut costs and extend its cash runway.

The Rosh Ha’ayin-based company, which employs about 500 workers, mainly in Israel, said the layoffs are part of a strategic realignment of its operations to improve its “path towards profitability and free cash flow generation,” by focusing its future investments on its InnovizTwo sensor and software platform, while reducing spending on other products.

Founded in 2016, Innoviz makes LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors that it says help automakers improve their vehicles’ safety, perception, connectivity and experience. The sensors provide accurate images of the vehicles’ surroundings through object detection, classification and tracking at long distances. LiDARs have become a critical element of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicles (AVs).

“Innoviz is at an important point in its growth trajectory,” said Innoviz co-founder and CEO Omer Keilaf. “The company is in a market capture window that has the potential to determine the market share of the LiDAR industry for the next decade or more.”

“Today’s actions are the result of a thoughtful process to optimize the company’s cost structure, increase our competitive positioning, and extend our cash runway through the expected remainder of the market capture window,” Keilaf added.

As a result of the measures, Innoviz’s planned cash outlays in 2024 will be cut by $22 to $24 million annually, the company said. The cash savings are expected to commence in the first quarter of 2024.

The company’s products, InnovizOne and InnovizTwo, are specifically designed for use in the automotive industry and for mass production. Innoviz’s technology and software are used by Volkswagen’s autonomous vehicles, by German carmaker BMW for its fully electric iX autonomous car program, and by Samsung Electronics’s Harman International Industries.

With Wednesday’s announcement, Nasday-listed Innoviz is joining a list of local tech companies announcing streamlining measures, including layoffs, in recent weeks as they are restructuring their operations to cut costs. Among them are Israeli-founded smart energy tech firm SolarEdge Technologies, Inc., which is slashing 550 jobs, and printing giant HP, which is laying off 50 of the 2,500 workers it employs in Israel. US tech giant Google is also expected to to lay off some employees in Israel, as the US tech giant is trimming staff around the world.

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