Paris-based Prophesee raises €25 million to transform machine vision sensors for use in industry and VR

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Paris-based Prophesee, which has created an advanced neuromorphic machine vision system, announced that it has closed €25 million in funding, bringing the startup’s total funding to date to €61 million.

Led by the European Investment Bank, the round also includes staged investments from commercial backers, including existing investors iBionext, 360 Capital Partners, Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Supernova Invest.

The fundraising follows Prophesee’s successful launch of the first off-the shelf and production ready ‘event-based’ sensor.

Founded in 2013, Prophesee uses neuromorphic computing to create vision sensors with greater efficiency and performance than traditional sensors. According to the startup, its technology mimics how the brain and eyes work in humans.

Prophesee’s sensors capture less information than previous generation sensors because they only use information that changes in a scene – instead of capturing everything all the time – in what the startup dubs ‘event-based’ processing.

Initially incubated in Paris’ Institute of Vision, an early generation of the technology was used to help visually impaired people. Now, the company focuses on industrial applications such as self-driving cars, driver assistance systems, robots and factory automation. Its early partners include Bosch and Renault, and it announced a partnership with the industrial camera company Imago earlier this year. Several new partnerships are currently underway.

The funds will be used to drive the further development and commercialisation of its Metavision sensor and underlying neuromorphic algorithm innovations, which unlock high-performance and predictive maintenance applications for Industry 4.0.

A next-generation version of the sensors will be aimed at vision-enabled opportunities in automotive and consumer markets, including autonomous driving, VR/AR and IoT.

“Our event-based approach to vision sensing and processing has resonated well with our customers in the automotive, industrial and IoT sectors, and the technology continues to achieve impressive results in benchmarking and initial industrialisation engagements,” said Luca Verre, cofounder and CEO of Prophesee.

“This latest round of financing will help us move rapidly from these successes to broader market adoption. Our agreement with the EIB gives us a flexible and practical way to access capital we need and having the backing of our original investors further strengthens our ability to take advantage of the market opportunities we see in key sectors.”

“Prophesee continues to execute on its strategy to deliver a truly disruptive and game-changing innovation to the world of machine vision,” said Bernard Gilly, chairman of iBionext. “Rooted in several years of development and strengthened with key commercial partners, the Company is now poised to achieve much wider industrial penetration. Together with the existing investors, the strong support of the EIB gives the company the resources needed for its growth and makes us even more confident in its success.”

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