Corporate investor Xiaomi and VC Inno-Chip also back company in an agreement led by firm founded by AI expert Dr. Kai-Fu Lee to expand global footprint and strengthen presence in key China market
Prophesee, the world’s developer of neuromorphic vision solutions, announced a strategic partnership and investment by tech venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures. Prophesee also announced support from new corporate investor Xiaomi, one of the top three mobile device suppliers in the world, and Inno-Chip, an investment firm which has obtained investment and support from Will Semiconductor, owner of OmniVision. They join an already strong group of international investors from North America, Europe and Japan.
The support will be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of Prophesee’s next generation hardware and software products; evolve its product roadmap plans to address new and emerging market opportunities; and expand its operational infrastructure required to further scale the company. Prophesee will also leverage the partnerships to further strengthen its commercial presence and resources in China to address growing customer demand, as well as develop broader relationships across key ecosystems in semiconductors, industrial, robotics, IoT and mobile devices.
The involvement by Sinovation and its founder Dr. Kai-Fu Lee represents a significant endorsement from a notable global expert in AI technology and venture capital. Sinovation is famous for nurturing several successful AI unicorns in its portfolio including Momenta, WeRide, AInnovation, 4Paradigm, Horizon Robotics and more, and has more than $2.5 billion assets under management.
This is the first investment by the fund in a Europe-based company as it primarily invests in the China market.
The support from all three new investors solidifies Prophesee’s presence in the important Chinese market, building on previous investments from Europe, the US and Japan. The strategic involvement of Xiaomi and Inno-Chip, investment firm which has obtained investment and support from Will Semiconductor, holding company of fast-growing and top three global CMOS image sensor supplier OmniVision, provides additional reach into the critical mobile and semiconductor segments.
“This round of funding takes us another step closer to establishing Prophesee as a clear leader in applying neuromorphic methods to machine vision and AI. The commitment from these new partners is a strategic part of our evolution and growth plan that will give us expanded global access to customers, particularly in China, for our revolutionary event-based vision sensing and processing approach,” noted Luca Verre, CEO and founder of Prophesee. “As we continue to develop strategies to align with targeted market segments like mobile, automotive, AR and industrial automation, involvement from established leaders such as Sinovation, Xiaomi and Inno-Chip will complement our current expertise and business networks, and position us strongly in the relevant ecosystems.”
“Sinovation Ventures is committed to finding and backing disruptive pioneers that have the potential to truly shift paradigms in how AI-enabled technology can improve our lives. Prophesee’s technology has great potential in many sectors, such as computational photography, autonomous driving, industrial automation, IoT, Healthcare, AR and VR etc. Computer vision applications are flourishing globally and can benefit from Prophesee’s latest technological breakthrough. I believe Prophesee’s advanced technology in AI and machine vision will open up more possibilities globally to enable new levels of automation, safety and efficiency for many industries.” said Dr. Kai-Fu Lee.