PARIS—Prophesee has announced the completion of its Series C round of funding with the addition of a new investment from Prosperity7 Ventures. The round now totals €50m, including backing from initial Series C investors Sinovation Ventures and Xiaomi. They join an already strong group of international investors from North America, Europe and Japan that includes Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, 360 Capital, iBionext, and the European Investment Bank. The company intends to use the Series C round to further invest in product development/engineering as well as global commercialization resources to ensure customer success
With the investment round, Prophesee becomes EU’s most well-funded fabless semiconductor startup, having raised a total of $127M since its founding in 2014.
Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growth global fund of Aramco Ventures – a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, is on constant search for transformative technologies and innovative business models. Its mission is to invest in the disruptive technologies with the potential to create next-generation technology leaders and bring prosperity on a vast scale. It currently has $1B under management and holds diversified investments across various sectors, including in deep tech and bio-science companies.
“Gaining the support of such a substantial investor as Prosperity7 adds another globally-focused backer that has a long-term vision and understanding of the requirements to achieve success with a deep tech semiconductor investment. Their support is a testament to the progress achieved and the potential that lies ahead for Prophesee. We appreciate the rigor which they, and all our investors, have used in evaluating our technology and business model and are confident their commitment to a long-term relationship will be mutually beneficial,” said Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prophesee.
The round builds further momentum for Prophesee in accelerating the development and commercialization of its next generation hardware and software products, as well as positioning it to address new and emerging market opportunities and further scale the company. The support from its investors strengthens its ability to develop business opportunities across key ecosystems in semiconductors, industrial, robotics, IoT and mobile devices.
Event Cameras Address the Challenges of Applying Computer Vision in Innovative Ways
“Prophesee is leading the development of a very unique solution that has the potential to revolutionize and transform the way motion is captured and processed.” noted Aysar Tayeb, the Executive Managing Director at Prosperity7. “The company has established itself as a clear leader in applying neuromorphic methods to computer vision with its revolutionary event-based Metavision® sensing and processing approach. With its fundamentally differentiated AI-driven sensor solution, its demonstrated track record with global leaders such as Sony, and its fast-growing ecosystem of more than 5,000 developers using its technology, we believe Prophesee is well-positioned to enable paradigm-shift innovation that brings new levels of safety, efficiency and sustainability to various market segments, including smartphones, automotive, AR/VR and industrial automation.” Aysar further emphasized “Prophesee and its unique team hit the criteria we are constantly searching for in startup companies with truly disruptive, life-changing technologies.”
Prophesee’s approach to enabling machines to see is a fundamental shift from traditional camera methods and aligns directly with the increasing need for more efficient ways to capture and process the dramatic increase in the volume of video input. By using neuromorphic techniques to mimic the way that the human brain and eye work, Prophesee’s event-based Metavision technology significantly reduces the amount of data needed to capture information. Metavision is the brand that encompasses Prophesee’s event-based vision (see sidebar for information on event-based vision) platform, including its hardware sensor product and its accompanying development tools, algorithms, and models. Among the benefits of the sensor and AI technology are ultra-low latency, robustness to challenging lighting conditions, energy efficiency, and low data rate. This makes it well-suited for a broad range of applications in industrial automation, IoT, consumer electronics that require real-time video data analysis while operating under demanding power consumption, size and lighting requirements.
Prophesee has gained market traction with key partners around the world who are incorporating its technology into sophisticated vision systems for use cases in smartphones, AR/VR headsets, factory automation and maintenance, science and health research. Its partnership with Sony has resulted in a next generation HD vision sensor that combines Sony’s CMOS image sensor technology with Prophesee’s unique event-based Metavision® sensing technology. It has established commercial partnership with leading machine vision suppliers such as Lucid, Framos, Imago and Century Arks, and its open-source model for accessing its software and development tools has enabled a fast-growing community of 5,000+ developers using the technology in new and innovative ways.