Tech Company Recogni Raises $48.9M in Series B Funding for Autonomous Car AI

By Bruce Harpham Sunday, February 28, 2021

Recogni secured $48.9 million in Series B financing from a group of venture capital investors in February. The startup company is creating AI technology for autonomous cars. To handle data from multiple cameras, the business has developed ultra-low power consumption technology. With operations in San Jose, CA, and Munich, Germany, the AI tech startup will help vehicles make more accurate driving decisions.

A self-driving car on a highway.

Three Ways the Startup Company Sets Its AI Solution Apart

Processing visual information is a well-established way to use AI technology. Furthermore, image processing is critical to a variety of AI-enabled technologies, such as facial recognition. Recogni's AI technology helps computers to interpret the environment around autonomous cars. The startup business is based on three principles: long-distance identification, high contrast lighting, and high-speed processing. The company uses deep-learning networks to process images quickly.

Will Recogni Solve the Autonomous Cars Cost Problem?

Many different companies are investing resources into autonomous cars. MES Insights estimates that 10-25% of all vehicles sold in 2030 will be driverless cars. If that estimate is accurate, the autonomous cars market could be worth more than $400 billion. However, those forecasts are unlikely to come true if driverless cars are significantly more expensive than conventional vehicles.

Ashwini Choudhary, co-founder of Recogni, wrote in Forbes that "[t]he elimination of lidar in the alternative solution allows that configuration to be as much as six times cheaper than a lidar-based configuration." By potentially reducing the autonomous cars costs by thousands of dollars, Recogni might make driverless cars less expensive.

However, Recogni may face competition from other LIDAR companies. In December 2020, Luminar became a public company through a SPAC shortly after signing a deal with Volvo. Luminar’s LIDAR technology works at distances up to 820 feet (i.e., 250 meters). Further, the company is aiming to produce LIDAR technology at less than $1,000 per unit. If Luminar successfully reduces the cost of LIDAR below $1,000, it might prove to be significant competition for Recogni.

Firms Investing in Recogni

Multiple organizations are investing in Recogni’s growth, including WRVI Capital, Mayfield Fund, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, GreatPoint Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, and BMW i Ventures.

Toyota AI Ventures, the AI investing unit of Toyota, has invested in more than fifteen companies such as Apex.AI (a business that creates software for autonomous cars) and Perceptive Automata (an autonomous cars technology business in Boston with more than $20 million in funding).

"RBVC invests in innovative startups that can change the course of an emerging market.” "The outstanding performance of Recogni's solution convinced us to invest. Their AI-powered vision platform will enable Tier 1s and OEMs to accelerate the transition from just safety features to full autonomy,” said Luis Llovera, Managing Director at Robert Bosch Venture Capital, in a company press release.

The AI Business Is Hiring

The startup business has more than thirty employees. As of late February, the business is hiring for two technology positions in San Jose, CA. In its Munich office, the tech startup is hiring for three AI positions, including a working student position.

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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