Canadian 3D sensor startup Airy3D has raised about $4.8 million (US$3.5 million) in a seed-stage financing. The round was led by CRCM Ventures and R7 Partners and joined by WI Harper Group, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners and angel investors affiliated with TandemLaunch, the Canadian incubator and seed investor that spun out the company. Montréal’s Airy3D, led by President and CEO Dr. Dan Button, has developed a TDM technology platform that can cost effectively convert any camera sensor into a versatile 3D sensor. It will use the funds raised to bring the platform into commercial use with a strategic partner.
3D Sensor Start-Up Airy3D Raises US$3.5 Million In Seed Financing
Montreal, Quebec May 15, 2017 – AIRY3D Inc., a Canadian start-up company in 3D computer vision, today announced that it has raised US$3.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round co-led by CRCM Ventures and R7 Partners. Other investors include WI Harper Group, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners and several angel investors that are affiliates of TandemLaunch, the Montreal-based incubator that spun out AIRY3D.
This financing will allow AIRY3D to demonstrate manufacturability with its top-tier camera sensor partner and build the world’s first commercial quality 3D sensors that combine AIRY3D’s patented Transmissive Diffraction Mask (“TDM”) platform with state-of-the-art, yet off-the-shelf CMOS camera sensors. AIRY3D’s single sensor solution requires no new materials or processes and is produced using standard wafer-scale semiconductor equipment.
“AIRY3D’s team has developed a breakthrough technology that significantly reduces the size, number of components and computational load required to produce 3D images,” said Toby Zhang, general partner of CRCM Ventures. “With 3D now the new battleground for smartphones, we believe the dramatic savings of AIRY3D’s computer vision platform can usher in a next generation of imaging experiences by helping to make 3D cameras and related content ubiquitous.”
“AIRY3D’s drop-in solution requires no changes to other hardware and assembly, no custom camera sensors, lenses or image processors. This is a powerful value proposition for both end-device manufacturers and camera sensor suppliers, and explains active engagement by industry leaders. With a strong base of globally issued patents and far-reaching applications, we are excited by the commercial potential of AIRY3D’s technology,” said Ben Buettell, general partner of R7 Partners.
AIRY3D’s unique solution requires only one camera component and no active lighting system, eliminating the need for multiple components, such as dual cameras or cameras equipped with active lighting systems for depth detection. The company’s revolutionary solution is only microns thick, produces 3D camera sensors that are easily assembled and does not require massive computation overhead. The passive, single sensor 3D platform enables a full range of depth functions with unrivaled cost, size and computational efficiency while preserving 2D performance. The AIRY3D computer vision platform is poised to unlock a number of cutting edge applications in consumer electronics and AI-enabled machine vision that span next generation 3D smartphone cameras, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality), collision avoidance for automotive and drones, and robotics.
“We are thrilled to attract such an impressive group of international venture capital investors, spanning Silicon Valley, Greater China, Germany and Canada. With their support, we can accelerate the introduction of our first solutions into some of the most exciting and fastest growing markets starting with consumer electronics,” said Dr. Dan Button, president & CEO of AIRY3D.
Concurrently, Robert Bosch Venture Capital issued a separate press release announcing their co-investment in this seed round. See link to press release on AIRY3D’s website in the news section.
About CRCM Ventures
Founded in 2006, CRCM Ventures is a premiere early stage cross-border venture capital firm based in San Francisco and Beijing. The firm actively invests in North America and Greater China across Enterprise IT, Consumer Tech, Healthcare/BioTech, FinTech, and Frontier tech sectors. www.crcmvc.com
About R7 Partners
R7 Partners is a venture capital firm based in Chicago that invests in early-stage companies building transformational technologies. www.r7partners.com
TandemLaunch is a seed investor and incubator focused on creating early-stage technology start-ups in collaboration with global universities and world-class entrepreneurs. www.tandemlaunch.com
Founded in 2015 and based in Montreal, Canada, AIRY3D has developed the world’s first passive single sensor solution for 3D computer vision based on off-the-shelf components that are transformed by technology first invented at Cornell University. Airy3D is a spinout of TandemLaunch, a Montreal-based incubator. www.airy3d.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/airy-3d/AngelList: https://angel.co/airy-3d
Contact information: Dan Button, AIRY3D Inc. President and CEO: E: firstname.lastname@example.org; T: +1-978-505-7754
Media relations: Danielle Ste-Marie: E: Danielle@ste-m.ca; T: +1-514-465-6701
Photo courtesy of TandemLaunch