PARIS—Prophesee announced the closing of its Series C financing round, with the inclusion of a new investment from Prosperity7 Ventures. The round now amounts to EUR 50 million, including support from the first 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 Series C round to further invest in product development/engineering and global commercialization resources to ensure customer success
The investment round makes Prophesee the EU’s most funded fabless semiconductor startup, raising a total of US$127 million since its inception in 2014.
Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified global growth fund of Aramco Ventures – a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco – is constantly looking for transformative technologies and innovative business models. Its mission is to invest in disruptive technologies that have the potential to create next-generation technology leaders and create wealth at scale. It currently has $1 billion under management and holds diversified investments across sectors including deep tech and life sciences companies.
“By backing an investor as significant as Prosperity7, they add another global investor who has a long-term vision and understanding of what it takes to be successful with a deep tech semiconductor investment. Your support is a testament to the progress that has been made and the potential that lies ahead for Prophesee. We appreciate the rigor they and all of our investors have applied in evaluating our technology and business model and are confident that their commitment to a long-term relationship will be mutually beneficial,” said Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of prophecy.
The round provides Prophesee with further momentum to accelerate the development and commercialization of its next-generation hardware and software products, enabling the company to capitalize on new and emerging market opportunities and continue to scale the company. The support of its investors strengthens its ability to develop business opportunities in key ecosystems in semiconductor, industrial, robotics, IoT and mobile devices.
Event cameras meet the challenges of using computer vision in an innovative way
“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, Executive Managing Director at Prosperity7. “The company has established itself as the clear market leader in applying neuromorphic methods to computer vision with its revolutionary event-based detection and processing approach Metavision®. With its fundamentally differentiated AI-driven sensor solution, proven track record at global leaders like Sony, and fast-growing ecosystem of more than 5,000 developers using its technology, we believe Prophesee is well-positioned to enable paradigm-shifting innovations a new level of safety, efficiency and sustainability in various market segments, including smartphones, automotive, AR/VR and industrial automation.” Aysar further emphasized: “Prophesee and his unique team meet the criteria that we use when looking at startup companies with truly disruptive, constantly seeking life-changing technologies.”
Prophesee’s approach to enabling machines to see is a fundamental departure from traditional camera methods and aligns directly with the increasing need for more efficient methods of capturing and processing the dramatic increase in video input volume. By using neuromorphic techniques to mimic how the human brain and eyes work, Prophesee’s event-based Metavision technology significantly reduces the amount of data required to capture information. Metavision is the brand that encompasses Prophesee’s event-based vision platform (see sidebar for event-based vision information), including the hardware sensor product and associated development tools, algorithms, and models. The advantages of the sensor and AI technology include extremely low latency times, robustness in difficult lighting conditions, energy efficiency and low data rate. This makes it well-suited for a wide range of industrial automation, IoT, and consumer electronics applications that require real-time video data analysis while operating under demanding power, size, and lighting requirements.
Prophesee has gained a foothold with key partners around the world integrating its technology into sophisticated machine vision systems for use cases in smartphones, AR/VR headsets, factory automation and maintenance, science and health research. The partnership with Sony has resulted in a next-generation HD vision sensor that combines Sony’s CMOS image sensor technology with Prophesee’s unique Metavision® event-based sensor technology. It has established commercial partnerships with leading imaging vendors such as Lucid, Framos, Imago and Century Arks, and its open-source model for accessing its software and development tools has enabled a rapidly growing community of over 5,000 developers to use the technology in new ways to use and innovative ways.