Luminar Raises $100 Million in New Capital
The startup raised $100 million in funding, including commitments from G2VP, Moore Strategic Ventures LLC, Canvas Ventures, 1517 Fund, The Weston Group, and Nick Woodman. Strategic investors joining in included Corning Inc., Volvo Cars Tech Fund band Cornes.
The new funding brings new board members as well: Scott McGregor, ex Broadcom President and CEO joins the Luminar board, along with G2VP’s Founding Partner Ben Kortlang.
Luminar makes autonomous vehicle sensors and software. It was founded in 2012 and since then has raised $250 million total in its goal to extend breakthrough technologies to automakers putting the next generation of autonomous vehicles on the roads. Toyota, Audi, Volkswagen and Volvo already are working with Luminar with their driverless auto plans.
Luminar is introducing a sensing and perception platform for autonomous vehicles called Iris. Launched based on its LiDAR sensing platform, the software comes after three years of development.
Iris is slated to launch commercially on production vehicles beginning in 2022. Luminar states Iris is the first sensing platform to exceed performance, safety, cost and auto-grade requirements needed to deliver Level 3 and 4 autonomy to consumers.
“We’re at a stage where everyone in the industry is hacking together Frankenstein solutions with off-the-shelf parts for their R&D programs, but to successfully achieve series production autonomy, hardware and software have to be seamlessly developed and integrated in tandem,” said Austin Russell, Luminar’s CEO, explaining the potential impact of Iris on the still growing autonomous vehicle industry.
“This combined, turnkey solution for series production vehicles is key to democratizing autonomy in the industry, enabling every automaker to deliver on the promise of self-driving capabilities on their vehicles.”