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4 March 2015

VCSEL-based automotive LiDAR firm TriLumina closes $8.5m Series A funding round

TriLumina Corp of Albuquerque, NM, USA, which provides illumination solutions based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays for automotive laser radar (LiDAR) and sensing platforms, has closed an $8.5m Series A round of funding led by Boston-based Stage 1 Ventures, joined by existing investors Cottonwood Technology Fund and Sun Mountain Capital (both of Santa Fe, NM). The funding will be used to support active and future customer integration projects as well as the firm's revenue ramp.

TriLumina has developed a small, fast and powerful infrared semiconductor laser, suitable for automotive LiDAR (light detection and ranging) solutions and smart illumination products for both automobiles and consumer devices. The lasers enable the production of all-solid-state, high-resolution LiDAR for 3D sensing around vehicles, accelerating the automotive market's move into semi-autonomous and autonomous operation.

"LiDAR is the next step for automotive safety enhancements, and TriLumina's solid-state LiDAR solutions are an excellent complement to today's radar and vision systems," comments Stage 1 Ventures' managing director David Baum.

Stage 1 is leveraging its experience in the automotive industry to support TriLumina's unique devices, and the promise of providing Automated Driver Assistance Systems that meet stringent automotive requirements for size, performance and reliability. Cottonwood and Sun Mountain Capital originally invested on the basis of the core technology and the promising applications that TriLumina's devices enable.

"TriLumina provides the fastest, smallest and most powerful semiconductor emitter of its kind - making laser radar in automobiles a reality," claims TriLumina's president Kirk Otis. "Stage 1 Ventures, Cottonwood and Sun Mountain Capital share our vision for a safer car, better sensors and connectivity, and they are important partners as we develop our products and broaden our customer engagements," he adds.

Baum will join TriLumina's board of directors. With his strong focus on the automotive industry, he will play a key role in guiding the firm as it builds its relationships with tier-1 suppliers and innovative automotive OEMs.
In addition, TriLumina will use proceeds to accelerate development and commercialization of smart illumination technology for consumer products and automotive applications (driver monitoring). TriLumina says that it continues to develop products with Israel-based gesture-based user interface company eyeSight Mobile Technologies.

"The ongoing collaboration between eyeSight and TriLumina will offer a powerful gesture interface solution for smart TVs, set-top boxes, laptops and mobile devices that works as well in dark rooms as it does in direct sunlight," says eyeSight's CEO Gideon Shmuel.

Tags: VCSEL

Visit: www.trilumina.com

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