Prophesee raises €50m for neuromorphic imaging
Neuromorphic vision technology provider, Prophesee, has raised €50m in series C funding. The investment makes the firm the EU’s most well-funded fabless semiconductor startup, having raised a total of €127m since its founding in 2014.
The latest investment round was from Prosperity7 Ventures, Sinovation Ventures and Xiaomi. Other firms that have invested in Prophesee to date include: Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, 360 Capital, iBionext, and the European Investment Bank.
Prophesee and Sony released event-based vision sensors last year. Event-based vision sensors asynchronously detect luminance changes for each pixel and output the changed data. This is combined with information on pixel position (xy coordinates) and time, thereby enabling high-speed, low latency data output.
This is different to standard frame-based imaging, where the entire image is output at certain intervals determined by the frame rate.
The latest investor, Prosperity7 Ventures, is a growth fund of Aramco Ventures, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco.
The investment round builds momentum for Prophesee in accelerating the development and commercialisation of its hardware and software products, as well as positioning it to address new and emerging market opportunities and scale the company.
“Prophesee is leading the development of a very unique solution that has the potential to revolutionise and transform the way motion is captured and processed,” said Aysar Tayeb, Executive Managing Director at Prosperity7. “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.”
Among the benefits of Prophesee’s 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 incorporating its technology into vision systems for uses cases in smartphones, AR/VR headsets, factory automation and maintenance, science and health research. It has established commercial partnership with machine vision suppliers such as Lucid, Framos, Imago and Century Arks.