The Munich-based startup Blickfeld today announced the closure of a €3.6 million seed funding round led by Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Tengelmann Ventures and Unternehmertum VC. Founded in 2016, Blickfeld has developed a unique light detection and ranging (LiDAR) technology that basically enables autonomous vehicles “to see”.
Autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars, robots, and drones, need to “see” and “understand” the world around them to safely navigate and operate. Blickfeld develops LiDAR systems by using a proprietary technology that creates high-definition, three-dimensional geometric maps. In the automotive industry, LiDAR is considered one of the decisive technologies towards autonomous driving.
The focus of Blickfeld is on bringing high-performance automotive LiDAR systems to the mass market. By using commercial off-the-shelf and silicon components, the startup has developed and demonstrated a unique technology that can be produced in low-cost mass fabrication and meets the technical performance specifications required by car OEMs. This is achieved by employing a patent-pending scanner technology which merges the best of both silicon microfabrication and already established LiDAR concepts. This advanced approach closes the gap between today’s high-cost systems and the automotive mass-market needs, and thus enables safe and affordable autonomous transportation.
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Blickfeld is backed by a strong investor consortium. Together, the investor consortium is able to support the team with connections to industry partners such as automotive OEMs and suppliers as well as with technical expertise on the component level and in the industrialization of the technology. Moreover, it is able to provide substantial follow-on investment in later rounds.
Blickfeld founder Florian Petit stated: “We are thrilled to have concluded our seed financing round with such experienced partners. We are very much looking forward to the joint journey. The funds will be used to speed up our development and to enter first trials with automotive OEMs. We are planning to provide first systems to our OEM partners in early 2018. Our team will be expanded: We are especially looking for talent to join our Munich-based team.”