Omnitron sensors unlocks $6.3B lidar market for autonomous navigation in cars and robotics

Secures foundry partner, forms keystone partnerships, builds proof-of-concept — all on only $11M in venture capital to date

The market for light detection and ranging (LiDAR) subsystems is surging toward $6.3B by 2027[1], in part driven by the automotive industry’s thirst for a precise optical technology that provides real-time 3D vision in all weather and lighting conditions. Omnitron Sensors, a semiconductor startup co-founded by a team with roots at Tesla and Google, announced a series of milestone achievements in targeting this massive market with the first microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) step-scanning mirror that meets the rigors of LiDAR in automotive advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), robotic cars and aerial drones.

Fueled by its lead investor L’ATTITUDE Ventures, an investor in early-stage US Latina(o)-owned startups with high-growth potential, Omnitron has raised a total of $11M in venture capital since its founding in 2019.

Oscar Munoz, former CEO and chairman of United Airlines and a general partner at L’ATTITUDE Ventures, cited the unique attributes of Omnitron Sensors Co-founder & CEO Eric Aguilar in expanding his firm’s investment in the company.

“Eric’s technical experience in developing sensors, combined with his leadership experience in building autonomous systems for companies such as Tesla — where he led a team of 300 engineers building the firmware for Model 3 — and X, where he helped to develop the autonomous-delivery drone service, Google project Wing, make Omnitron a company to watch,” said Munoz.

In late Q3 2023, Omnitron revealed Silex Microsystems — the world’s largest pure-play MEMS foundry — as its foundry partner, signifying market-readiness to deliver the first MEMS scanner that meets the accuracy, reliability, size, cost and volume requirements of LiDAR in diverse applications. See press release: Omnitron Sensors Selects Silex Microsystems for Reliable MEMS Scanner for LiDAR (September 12, 2023).

Omnitron has also forged partnerships with key players in the LiDAR ecosystem — established suppliers that are eager to use Omnitron’s MEMS mirror in their systems.

“As the first MEMS mirror that aligns to a LiDAR system’s sub-micron-level tolerances without constant recalibration — and which is priced for cars instead of billion-dollar satellites — Omnitron’s sensor has attracted the attention of tier 1 automotive suppliers,” said Aguilar. “With the capital in hand to manufacture our MEMS mirror and with Silex as our proven high-volume foundry partner, we’ve cleared the way to satisfy future demand from LiDAR suppliers.”

As a tech entrepreneur increasingly recognized on the global stage, Aguilar presented at two prestigious innovation conferences during the past year. He engaged with an international community of business leaders at the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (BCC) and the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) conference in Bogotá, Colombia on March 1, 2023. On November 2, 2023, he addressed an audience of innovators from global corporations and fast-growth businesses at Dubai Business Forum 2023 in Dubai, UAE.