Lidar startup collects funding of $45 million

October 10, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Shenzhen-based lidar perception solution provider RoboSense has announced the completion of a combined investment of over $45 million – according to the company, this was so far China’s largest single round of financing for a Lidar company.

The strategic funding is provided by technology and industry leaders, including Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd, the logistics arm of the Alibaba Group; as well as of carmakers SAIC Motor Group and the BAIC Group electric vehicle company.
 
With an over 50% market share of all Lidar sold in Asia, RoboSense claims to be the market leader in the region. From previous financing rounds, the 2-years-old startup already has secured backing from Chinese auto manufacturing, financial brokerage, and AI companies. The funding will be used to increase RoboSense’s market share and the R&D of autonomous vehicle technologies, including its solid-state Lidar, AI sensing algorithms, and other advanced technologies, as well as accelerating product development, long-term manufacturing and market penetration.

IHS Markit predicts that by 2035, global sales of self-driving cars will reach 21 million vehicles, up from nearly 600,000 vehicles in 2025. IHS believes that by 2035, nearly 76 million vehicles with some level of autonomy will be sold globally. One of the fastest developing markets for autonomous vehicles is autonomous logistics. “The development of autonomous vehicles has ignited ignited a huge demand for Lidar,” said Mark Qiu, co-founder of RoboSense. Cainiao and automotive OEMs, SAIC and BAIC, will jointly promote the rapid development of autonomous vehicles with RoboSense.

Over the past two years, RoboSense has experienced explosive growth. In April 2017, the company started mass production of its 16-beam automotive Lidar. In September 2017, the company mass-produced its 32-beam Lidar, released a Lidar-based autonomous driving environmental sensing AI system, and provided a software and hardware combined Lidar environment sensing solution. In October 2017, RoboSense launched its most highly regarded product so far, a MEMS-based solid-state Lidar. 
 

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