About the Business
Founded in 2016, Innovusion is a startup company that develops image-grade, long-range LiDAR sensor systems in the autonomous EV market to potentially make mobility safer and smarter. LiDAR technology is essentially sonar that releases light waves to 3D map distances around objects, therefore allowing for real-time navigation from electric vehicles.
The business has three products under its name: Jaguar Prime, Falcon, and OmniSense. Each product features different LiDAR capabilities. In January, the startup announced it partnered with EV company Nio to integrate Falcon with Nio’s Aquila Sensing System, a suite of 33 high-performance sensors for the Nio ET7 EV. ET7 deliveries are expected to begin in 2022.
In addition to the autonomous EV market, the LiDAR products created by the business can be used in larger markets like transportation, highways, railroads, and even mining. Innovusion reportedly sells a volume of 100,000 LiDAR products per year to automakers for $1,000 apiece.
$64 Million Series B
In a statement, the startup company announced it raised $64 million in a Series B financing round led by Temasek, BAI Capital, and Joy Capital. Other existing investors such as Nio Capital, Eight Road Ventures, and F-Prime Capital also participated in this round.
Ian Zhu, a managing partner of Nio Capital, said in a statement, “...Innovusion's LiDAR is recognized as an industry leader given its performance and feasibility for mass production...With ample opportunities for future growth, we are very confident that Innovusion will stay at the forefront of LiDAR and autonomous driving technologies.
Junwei Bao, co-founder and CEO of the business, added that he is optimistic about the role LiDAR technology will play in the future of the autonomous EV market as more and more automakers are adopting the technology.
With the new capital, the company plans to increase production capabilities of its automotive-grade LiDARs, support supply-chain partners for mass production capabilities, and further expand R&D efforts.
In addition, Bao stated that Innovusion products were being evaluated for deployment by other automakers. Additionally, he stated the startup has considered going public; however, an official decision has not been made.
Automakers like Alphabet’s Waymo, GM’s Cruise, Toyota, and Volvo are just a few companies that have publicly announced they are using LiDAR technology for their electric vehicles.
Innovusion is not the only business in the LiDAR space looking to innovate the autonomous EV market.
In January, Startup Savant reported that Aeva, a LiDAR technology competitor, raised $200 million ahead of its public debut. Furthermore, other LiDAR technology companies like Ouster Inc. and Luminar Technologies went public through SPAC (special purpose acquisition company), mergers in March 2021 and December 2020, respectively.
Markets and Markets reported the global LiDAR technology market was valued at $1.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $2.8 billion by 2025 — growing at a CAGR of 20.7% during the forecast period.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.