Cepton Technologies Inc. this week announced that it has raised more than $50 million in its Series C round, which was led by Koito Manufacturing Co. Cepton is a leading provider of lidar-based systems and said it plans to use the funding to ramp up research and development, expand in the automotive market, and support major customers worldwide.
Founded in 2016 and led by industry veterans with over two decades of collective experience across a wide range of advanced lidar and imaging technologies, Cepton is focused on the mass-market commercialization of high-performance lidar systems. The San Jose, Calif.-based company has offices in Germany, Canada, and the U.K. and said it has a fast-growing, global customer base.
Cepton provides sensor systems for a range of markets such as autonomous driving, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), intelligent traffic systems, security, crowd analytics, and industrial robotics. In 2018, it partnered with May Mobility to integrate its sensors into self-driving shuttles.
Cepton takes a unique approach to lidar with MMT
Cepton’s said its patented Micro Motion Technology (MMT) is different from traditional beam-steering technologies, such as mechanical rotation, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and scanning mirrors.
The MMT architecture enables a mirrorless, frictionless, and rotation-free lidar system. The company said this increases the product’s reliability and manufacturability while delivering high performance and low power at affordable price points.
Investing in growth
Koito Manufacturing is a Tier 1 automotive supplier. Existing investors in Cepton also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding close to $100 million to date.
As part of the transaction, Koito will obtain non-exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Cepton’s lidar sensor design for an automotive application, using key components from the company.
“With this latest investment round, the year 2020 is poised to be truly transformational for Cepton’s future, and we are excited to welcome Koito not just as an investor but also as a technology and manufacturing partner,” said Dr. Jun Pei, co-founder and CEO of Cepton. “Combining Koito’s world leadership in automotive lighting and their world-class quality, reliability and manufacturing with Cepton’s award-winning lidar solutions presents a tremendous opportunity to make deep inroads into the automotive market.”
Cepton added that it will use the proceeds to accelerate development and deployment of its advanced lidar technology in ADAS, autonomous vehicle applications, and other fast-growing markets such as smart cities/intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and security.