Bosch, Lightspeed China $173m funding in 3D-sensor firm Hesai

China’s 3D-sensors (LiDAR) provider Hesai Technology announced that it has secured a total of $173 million in its Series C round of financing jointly led by German’s global supplier of technology and services Bosch, and existing investor Lightspeed China Partners.

ON Semiconductor, Qiming Venture Partners, Detong Capital and Axiom Asia Private Capital also participated in the funding round.

Hesai claims the Series C financing is the largest so far in China’s LiDAR industry. Prior to it, Hesai raised over $150 million from notable investors such as Baidu China and ZhenFund since 2015.

Established in Silicon Valley in 2013 and relocated to Shanghai in 2014, Hesai specializes in designing and manufacturing smart laser sensor solutions for autonomous cars. Its micro-mirror and waveform fingerprint technologies include Pandar64, PandarGT, and Pandora. The pilot products are active across 18 countries with Europe and the US accounting for 60 per cent of the exports.

Hesai has a team of over 600 professionals globally. So far, the company has owned 364 patents. California’s Department of Motor Vehicle has witnessed that over 50 per cent of the 65 certificated companies offering self-driving road test solutions are the customers of Hesai.

Amid the economic slowdown in China, the positive move from Hesai demonstrated that LiDARs technology is significant to smart vehicles, robots, among others.

MarketsandMarkets estimated the global LiDAR market is projected to jump to $2 billion while the markets for the ADAS and driverless cars application are expected to exhibit high growth.

China remains one of the largest LiDAR markets, which aims to innovate its self-reliant technologies and solutions. The top manufacturers include RoboSense, SureStar, LeiShen Intelligent System, BeneWake, and Hesai.