Lidar Innovator LeddarTech Gets $101 in Investment Round

LeddarTech. Inc. of Quebec City, QC Canada announced the completion of a combined investment of US$101 million (close to CA$130 million). The investment round was led by Lighting and optical technology firm Osram. Other investors include Delphi, Magneti Marelli and Integrated Device Technology, Inc., and Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

The company says that this latest funding round, the largest capital raise to date, will allow LeddarTech to enhance its ASIC development, increase its R&D team, and hasten ongoing LiDAR development programs with select Tier-1 automotive customers for rapid market deployment. LeddarTech intends to commercialize automotive-grade solid-state LiDARs that match the industry’s rigorous demands in terms of cost, performance, and reliability. The company’s patented Leddar technology stems from more than a decade of R&D, and the company has been optimized it through multiple deployments in various applications.

LeddarTech says it lidar solution employs a powerful solid-state collimated laser source and uses highly focused optics to concentrates the return signal on the detector. Such lidar systems are expected to help detect vehicle and obstacle distances in autonomous self-driving and driver assisted vehicles in the near future.

Leddar’s light wave digital signal processing and software algorithms are packaged into LeddarCore integrated circuits (ICs) and standard microcontrollers. The company claims that its system enables significantly higher sensitivity than other LiDAR methods. According to LeddarTech, this enhanced sensitivity its system to realize the automotive industry’s targeted performance levels using readily available components that are more affordable, as well as simple, robust sensor configurations with no moving parts. LeddarTech says it collaborates closely with Tier-1 automotive suppliers to deliver customized LiDAR solutions that meet the individual demands of each current or prospective OEM, fleet and mobility service provider customer.

“We are thrilled to welcome such an influential group of companies as strategic investors, with whom we share a common goal of making mobility safer and more efficient,” stated Charles Boulanger, LeddarTech’s CEO. “Their strong endorsement is a testament to the maturity of the Leddar technology and the credibility of our product roadmap to support the ongoing development of autonomous driving. This positions LeddarTech as the definitive reference in solid-state LiDAR and validates our Tier-1 partnership business model to rapidly deploy LiDARs on a commercial scale in automotive applications. We believe this announcement represents a major stepping stone towards achieving market-share leadership in the multibillion-dollar automotive LiDAR market by 2020,” added Mr. Boulanger.

Said Stefan Kampmann, Chief Technology Officer at OSRAM Licht AG, “As the world’s leading provider of sensor lights for autonomous vehicles, we are very pleased to endorse and participate in the tremendous promise of the Leddar technology alongside this impressive group of key industry players.” Added Kampmann, “Our company enjoys a well-established working relationship with LeddarTech and we view their advanced optical sensing technology as highly complementary with Osram Opto Semiconductor products. Hence, we see the investment in LeddarTech as a unique opportunity to jointly capitalize on the rising demand for solid-state LiDARs.”

“Delphi aims to be at the forefront of autonomous driving developments and LiDAR is a key component thereof,” said Glen De Vos, Delphi Automotive senior vice president and chief technology officer. “We are delighted to partner with LeddarTech to leverage its innovative and proprietary signal processing technology to rapidly commercialize low-cost, high-performing LiDARs.”

Said Mario Montana, Vice President and General Manager of IDT Automotive and Industrial Group, said, “Our investment in LeddarTech cements the strong technology relationship between our two companies. LeddarTech’s deep systems knowledge in solid-state LIDAR, combined with IDT’s automotive sensor technology leadership, creates a powerful solution for the autonomous driving market.”

GCA Advisors, LLC acted as sole placement agent for this transaction.

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