By Sidhart Krishnamurthi, Product Management
Recogni ended 2020 examining the historical rate of innovation happening in the auto industry while a global pandemic posed unique challenges for everyone. We announced Series B funding on February 17. We raised $48.9 million dollars in that round, and it followed our 2019 announcement of $25 million in Series A funding. Since closing Series A funding, we completed proof-of-concept engagements with an ever-expanding list of customers.
Series B funding will allow us to expand our engineering and marketing teams to bring the product to market. We’re positioned well for producing the prototypes, producing the product in volume, and developing new features and capabilities in response to customer requests.
But it isn’t just the money that’s significant. Recogni attracted a notable mix of investors:
· Silicon Valley deep-technology investors WRVI Capital, who led the round, and Mayfield Fund will help Recogni produce the silicon and software technology that forms the core of our vision cognition module.
· Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RVBC) and Continental AG connect Recogni to the automotive value chain that supplies technologies to vehicle OEMs.
· Toyota AI Ventures and BMW i Ventures provide connections to the robotic and AI sectors as well as to the automotive world.
· Our leading Series A investors, such as GreatPoint Ventures, also participated in Series B, lending further credibility to our vision.
The Series B announcement validates Recogni’s innovative approach, which addresses the fundamental barriers to high-performance perception processing. Later this year, Recogni will enable customers to integrate new self-driving perception system designs into their platforms and move into production.
Suppliers will be able to integrate the VCM into an autonomous driving system along with best-of-breed sensors, controllers, mapping and planning software, and other components. OEMs will have perception capabilities for any level of autonomy, and can accelerate the delivery of self-driving vehicles to the market as a result.
Innovative, high-value suppliers will help develop the new generation of safe, power-efficient, self-driving vehicles. Because Recogni overcomes the most difficult perception challenges to reaching full autonomy, its technology could become the center of the autonomous ecosystem.
In short, we’re excited. Recogni, as well as the global automotive industry, is at an inflection point. The convergence of electrification and autonomous driving is creating new demand for innovation. Suppliers are witnessing the success of tech firms who are able to bring “tech-first” vehicles to market at a faster rate than traditional OEMs have been able to achieve. The number of alliances between automobile manufacturers and technology suppliers is growing. Trials of autonomous vehicles of all kinds are happening, and the pandemic has expanded interest in non-occupied transportation applications.
Big Impact on the Supply Chain
Clearly, Recogni is entering the market at an opportune moment. OEMs are pulling suppliers toward a technology-first platform, and suppliers are likewise pushing toward the same goal. This combined push and pull is creating an opening for innovative suppliers that can help OEMs meet their autonomous vehicle goals. Having investors such BMW, Toyota, Bosch, and Continental indicates that we are on the right path as a company that builds fundamental technology for the autonomous driving market.
Recogni will contribute value by providing insight, architectural innovation, and energy-efficient computability that can change the industry landscape. It’s exciting to think that a small company like Recogni has the potential to make a such a big impact. We’re excited about the year ahead, about the company’s progress, and about the historical rate of innovation happening now in the auto industry.