Venture Funding

AEye, Developer of IDAR, Raises $40 Million

PLEASANTON — AEye, the developer of iDAR, a perception system that acts as the eyes and visual cortex of autonomous vehicles, has announced the second close of its Series B financing of $40 million.

AEye Series B investors include Hella Ventures, SUBARU-SBI Innovation Fund, LG Electronics, and SK Hynix. AEye previously announced that the round was led by Taiwania Capital along with existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures, R7 Partners, and an undisclosed OEM. Series B will be used to scale AEye’s operations to meet global demand for its artificial perception systems for both ADAS and Mobility solutions.

The company’s total funding to date is now over $60 million.

AEye takes a disruptive approach to vehicle perception by putting intelligence at the sensor layer and making it extensible and controllable via a software-driven architecture. AEye’s iDAR is the first and only perception system that can easily scale from modular ADAS solutions to complete 360-degree vision for Mobility applications. iDAR physically fuses the industry’s only 1550nm, solid-state, agile LiDAR with a hi-resolution camera to create a new data type called Dynamic Vixels. This real-time integration occurs in the IDAR sensor, rather than post fusing separate camera and LiDAR data after the scan. By capturing both geometric and true color (x,y,z and r,g,b) data, Dynamic Vixels uniquely mimic the data structure of the human visual cortex, capturing better data for vastly superior performance and accuracy.

“This funding marks an inflection point for AEye, as we scale our staff, partnerships and investments to align with our customers’ roadmap to commercialization,” said Luis Dussan, AEye founder and CEO. “The support we have received from major players in the automotive industry validates that we are taking the right approach to addressing the challenges of artificial perception. Their confidence in AEye and iDAR will be borne out by the automotive specific products we’ll be bringing to market at scale in Q2 of 2019. These products will help OEMs and Tier 1s accelerate their products and services by delivering market leading performance at the lowest cost.”

“The AEye investment aligns perfectly with SUBARU’s aim to invest in leading-edge technology to advance our assisted and autonomous driving efforts,” said Itaru Ueda, Manager of SUBARU-SBI Innovation Fund. “AEye is a front-runner in developing accurate, low-latency, low cost perception systems, and we anticipate great synergy in working with AEye towards safe, reliable vehicle autonomy.”

Built on a robust and rapidly-growing patent portfolio, AEye’s iDAR recently set a new benchmark for solid state LiDAR range. In performance tests validated by VSI Labs, iDAR acquired and tracked targets at more than 1000 meters and at scan rates exceeding 100 Hz – a major breakthrough in speed and long-range threat detection.