Reading Time: 2 Minutes Approx. – 06.05.2020
Toposens, the Munich-based startup that has developed the world’s first 3D Echolocation Sensor for automobile, robotics, and autonomous vehicles, has raised a new round of funding. The round was led by existing investor ALPANA Ventures from Switzerland and joined by new investors Basinghall Partners from the UK, and USA-based In-Q-Tel, Inc.
The additional investment will be used to enhance Toposens’ sensor technology and software, develop new partnerships, and launch new use cases based on Toposens’ technology.
Toposens is one of the early investments in Germany for IQT, the not-for-profit strategic investor that delivers cutting-edge technologies that protect and preserve national security for the United States and its allies. “We are proud to welcome In-Q-Tel [IQT], one of the most prestigious VCs in the area of Deep-tech, and Basinghall Partners, a VC with a strong industry network and knowledge. These are great partners to help drive our company and technology forward” said Tobias Bahnemann, CEO of Toposens. “We are looking forward to bringing amazing products to market, working on new projects, and developing new strategic partnerships. We are also particularly pleased that our existing partnerALPANA Ventures continues to believe and support our vision.”
Toposens is the first company to bring an Advanced Ultrasonic Sensor with 3D capabilities to the market. In addition to calculating the distance to an object similar to a regular ultrasonic sensor, the technology can also be used to calculate the horizontal and vertical position of multiple objects relative to the sensor itself. Toposens’ sensors can then localize these objects in three-dimensional space – similar to the techniques used by bats.
Toposens works with well-known partners like Infineon and Murata and has implemented and tested the technology in various automotive, robotics and industrial projects with customers like BMW, Continental, and Daimler. Toposens is now focusing on mass market industrialization and the development of scalable product use cases.
Toposens has developed an industrialized evaluation version of its ultrasonic sensors. The sensors have been sold to more than 100 customers globally across multiple industries, validating the market’s interest in identifying novel ways of performing close-range 3D perception. At the end of 2019, the company extended its portfolio through a new ultrasonic, beacon-based 3D Tracking System. The new system provides X, Y and Z coordinates using a single emitter and receiver couple.
“Toposens has unique, German-engineered technology for multiple industries and use cases. These types of sensors will fuel the future of smart and autonomous vehicles, robots, and IoT devices”, said Alexander Fries, ALPANA Ventures.
Toposens´ hardware and software offerings are very versatile and can be applied to a wide range of industrial areas. The company is already looking for further opportunities and partners in new industries. Basinghall, one of the new investors, is excited about the variety of use cases that could be solved with advanced ultrasonic technology.
“We are pleased to become an investment partner in Toposens at this exciting point of their journey. The team has developed world-class technology and we look forward to bringing our experience and network to adding additional value as well as to make the unique technology accessible to our industry partners”, said Andrew Irvine, Founding Partner of Basinghall Partners.
While existing sensor technologies mostly focus on covering far distances, the immediate environment around a car (0 – 5 m) is often left out of the discussion. That is where the 3D sensor startup Toposens comes into play. Toposens developed the first 3D ultrasound sensor worldwide. The sensor uses the principle of echolocation, like a bat, to perceive its environment in 3D in real-time. The sensor is targeted towards covering the near-field environment (0 – 5 m) of autonomous vehicles. It is small, robust against external influences provides a lean and simple data stream, and is inexpensive to produce. Without a doubt, Toposens newest “Automotive Dev Kit” yields a huge step towards improved near-field perception for both current vehicle generations as well as autonomous moving vehicles!
Toposens has developed the first 3D Echolocation Sensor that uses sound to support robust, low-cost, and precise near-range 3D data points for emerging technologies, such as autonomous driving, robotics, or smart buildings. Unlike existing sensor technologies that can be negatively impacted by light conditions, reflections, and weather, Toposens sensors use echolocation to generate point clouds that support autonomous systems across a variety of applications. The startup is based in Munich, Germany with a presence in Sunnyvale, California, and was founded in 2015.
About In-Q-Tel [IQT]
IQT is the not-for-profit strategic investor that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to US national security agencies. IQT´s work bridges the gap between the challenging technology needs of our government partners, the rapidly changing innovations of the startup world, and the venture community that funds those startups.
About Basinghall Partners
Basinghall Partners is a European venture fund that invests in early-stage companies with great teams and pioneering technologies. Basinghall Partners has a focus on European technology companies with a strong industry focus addressing the trends and needs of traditional sectors developed by its relationships with its industry partners that form part of Basinghall Innovation Circle.
About ALPANA Ventures
ALPANA Ventures provides early-stage venture capital to mostly Swiss and European tech startups. Our unique investment model is to bridge them to Silicon Valley and Asia while facilitating market access and support to solve growth challenges. ALPANA Ventures has offices in San Mateo, Silicon Valley and Geneva, Switzerland. To learn more visit us at www.alpana-ventures.ch.