- Scantinel Photonics has raised $10 million in Series A financing from PhotonDelta.
- The German startup uses photonics chips to make autonomous driving more accurate and safer.
- Check out the 10-slide deck used to pin the expansion round.
Scantinel Photonics has raised $10 million in extended Series A funding from PhotonDelta.
Based in Ulm, Germany, the startup has designed a technology that aims to enable autonomous vehicles (AVs) to more accurately detect obstacles on the road and block interference while driving.
The startup says the game changer is using photonics chips. Unlike electronic chips, these use light to transfer information in a more energy-efficient way. These photonics chips are used to create LiDAR solutions and devices – which are integrated into AVs and are essential to help vehicles detect objects and estimate distances on the road.
The startup sees itself as a solution to the problem that current LiDAR technology is time consuming and expensive to produce, with a limited light detection range of about 100 meters. Scantinel says it is pioneering a “new wave of LiDAR technology” that is more immune to interference and more accurate in imaging, said general manager Dr. Michael Richter.
“You can immediately get speed information in imaging,” he added. “You can detect in every pixel where the object is moving and how fast it is moving.”
Cheaper sensors could help make self-driving cars safer, allowing them to more accurately detect debris or cargo or identify objects in crowded spaces.
The startup wants to partner with Tier 1 suppliers and mobility providers by providing the LiDAR engines that can be integrated into the vehicles.
“There is a lot of momentum on the truck side in the UK, where there is a shortage of drivers,” Richter told Insider. The use cases of the LiDAR solutions include everything from industrial automation in mining and agriculture to traffic management and planning in cities, he added.
Given the growing market size for AVs, the team was able to successfully close out the Series A round amid the global technical downturn. Scantinel, which is “one of the few players in the world” to provide this technology, was also a boon in raising money, Richter said.
“You need in-depth knowledge of the semiconductor part. You also need the optical competence to make this scanning possible, and the combination of the two is hard to find,” he added.
The Series A expansion was led by PhotonDelta, a photonics ecosystem headquartered in the Netherlands that raised $1.1 billion from public and private investors to support 200 startups and develop photonics technology across Europe. Additional support came from existing investors Scania Growth Capital and ZEISS Ventures, from which Scantinel emerged.
With the fresh money, the startup will grow its team and further develop the product.
Check out the 10-slide deck used to raise the capital.