BOZEMAN, Mont., March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc., a leading developer of frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar for the automotive industry, announced today that it has raised $18 million in a Series B funding round led by BMW i Ventures. Additional investment comes from Toyota AI Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners and Next Frontier Capital.
"Advances in new sensor technologies, like lidar, are going to make cars safer and, eventually, autonomous," said BMW i Ventures partner Zach Barasz. "Blackmore has unique and innovative FMCW lidar technology that delivers a new dimension of data to future vehicles." Low-cost lidar sensors are required to enable self-driving vehicles. In addition to being more cost-effective, Blackmore's FMCW lidar technology has several competitive advantages over traditional pulsed lidar systems, enabling autonomous driving teams to achieve their goals faster.
"Perception is critical to the perception-prediction-planning automated driving stack, and we're excited to see the innovations that Blackmore is bringing to the top of this stack," said Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures. "Blackmore's groundbreaking FMCW lidar technology is designed to eliminate interference, improve long-range performance, and support both range and velocity — a triple threat to make autonomous driving safer."
According to Dr. Randy Reibel, Blackmore's CEO, it is that last capability that differentiates Blackmore's sensor from its competitors. "Having the ability to measure both the speed and the distance to any object gives self-driving systems more information to navigate safely," said Reibel. "Blackmore provides software and analytics so that its customers can get the most out of the FMCW lidar sensors."
Blackmore will use the investment to scale the production of its FMCW lidar sensor for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving markets. Increased production capacity will allow Blackmore to support the growing sector of autonomous driving teams demanding a superior lidar solution.
About Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc.
Blackmore is a leader in developing compact and robust frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidars and supporting analytic tools and software. Blackmore's core technology brings the advanced toolsets of modern radar into the optical domain enabling a new era of unprecedented lidar system performance. Blackmore's technology is ideal for a variety of intense, mission critical, automotive, military, and industrial environments, where cost and performance specifications limit more traditional sensors. Blackmore is based in Bozeman, Montana. For more information visit: www.blackmoreinc.com.
About BMW i Ventures
BMW i Ventures, BMW's EUR 500 Mio million venture capital fund, invests money and resources in startups in the fields of autonomous driving, digital car and automotive cloud, e-mobility, artificial intelligence and data, industry 4.0, shared and on-demand mobility, customer digital life, and energy services. The firm has already partnered with innovative companies such as Carbon3D, Chargepoint, DesktopMetal, JustPark, Life360, Moovit, Nauto, Scoop, Stratim, Turo, Xometry and Zendrive. BMW i Ventures invests in all stages from seed and incubation to growth companies.
About Toyota AI Ventures
Toyota AI Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute (TRI) that invests in promising startups from around the world. The fund focuses on companies developing solutions in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, autonomous mobility, data, and cloud technology that share TRI's mission of improving the quality of human life through AI. More information is available at Toyota-AI.ventures.
About Millennium Technology Value Partners
Millennium is a New York-based investment firm with nearly $500 million under management. Over the past fifteen years Millennium has invested in more than 80 technology companies, including such well-known leaders as Facebook (FB), Alibaba (BABA), Twitter (TWTR), Zappos (AMZN), Spotify, Chegg (CHGG), Tellme (MSFT), RigNet (RNET), PrecisionHawk, HauteLook (JWN), Tumblr (YHOO), ETF Securities, LegalZoom, NetSpend (TSS), Pentaho (HDS), ID Analytics (LOCK), Sunrun (RUN), LifeLock (SYMC), ArcSight (HPQ), and many others. The firm's portfolio companies have achieved 47 IPO and M&A events to date. Millennium is an active investor in companies that are at the leading edge of emerging technologies, such as Autonomous Vehicles, Drones, Mapping, Artificial Intelligence, and Big Data and Data Analytics. More information available at www.MTVLP.com.
About Next Frontier Capital
Next Frontier Capital (NFC) partners with mission-driven entrepreneurs to build Montana technology companies of national impact, utility and value. Founded in 2015, the firm is backed by a well-diversified pool of investors, endowments, foundations, and executives from the world's top technology and financial firms, who join us in recognizing the region's extraordinary growth in technology deal flow. NFC has made twelve investments to date in financing rounds for our portfolio companies SiteOne Therapeutics, Submittable, Clearas, Quiq, Orbital Shift, Phoenix Labs, Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, IronCore Labs, OppSource, Remix Labs, Ataata, and onXMaps, which raised a total of $92m capital from NFC and our partnering venture and strategic firms Summit Partners, Venrock, BMW i Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, True Ventures, Amgen Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, among others. NFC is based in Bozeman and Missoula, Montana.
SOURCE Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc.