Imaging/SPAD Startup News from Semiconductor Engineering


Fortsense received hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.3M) in Series C1 financing led by Chengdu Science and Technology Venture Capital, joined by BAIC Capital, Huiyou Investment, Shanghai International Group, Shengzhong Investment, and others. The company develops optical sensing chips, including 3D structured light chips for under-screen fingerprint sensors and time-of-flight (ToF) sensors for facial recognition in mobile devices. Funding will be used for development of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) lidar chips for automotive applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

PolarisIC raised nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.3M) in pre-Series A financing from Dami Ventures, Innomed Capital, Legend Capital, Nanshan SEI Investment, and Planck Venture Capital. PolarisIC makes single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) direct time-of-flight (dToF) sensors and photon counting low-light imaging chips for mobile phones, robotic vacuums, drones, industrial sensors, and AGV. Funds will be used for mass production and development of 3D stacking technology and back-illuminated SPAD. Based in Shenzhen, China, it was founded in 2021.

VicoreTek received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.3M) in strategic financing led by ASR Microelectronics and joined by Bondshine Capital. The startup develops image processing and sensor fusion chips, AI algorithms, and modules for object avoidance in sweeping robots. It plans to expand to other types of service robots and AR/MR, followed by the automotive market. Funds will be used for R&D and mass production. Founded in 2019, it is based in Nanjing, China.

Greenteg drew CHF 10.0M (~$10.8M) in funding from existing and new investors. The company makes heat flux sensors for applications ranging from photonics, building insulation, and battery characterization to core body temperature measurement in the form factor of wearables. Funds will be used for R&D into medical applications in the wearable market and to scale production capacity. Founded in 2009 as a spin off from ETH Zurich, it is based in Rümlang, Switzerland.

Phlux Technology raised £4.0M (~$4.9M) in seed funding led by Octopus Ventures and joined by Northern Gritstone, Foresight Williams Technology Funds, and QUBIS Innovation Fund. Phlux develops antimony-based infrared sensors for lidar systems. The startup claims its architecture is 10x more sensitive and with 50% more range compared to equivalent sensors. It currently offers a single element sensor that is retrofittable into existing lidar systems and plans to build an integrated subsystem and array modules for a high-performance sensor toolkit. Other applications for the infrared sensors include satellite communications internet, fiber telecoms, autonomous vehicles, gas sensing, and quantum communications. Phlux was also recently awarded an Innovate UK project with QLM Technology to develop a lidar system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. A spin out of Sheffield University founded in 2020, it is based in Sheffield, UK.

Microparity raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A+ funding from Summitview Capital. Microparity develops high-performance direct time-of-flight (dToF) single photon detection devices, including single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD), silicon photomultipliers (SiPM), and SiPM readout ASICs for consumer electronics, lidar, medical imaging, industrial inspection, and other applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

Yegrand Smart Science & Technology raised pre-Series A financing from Zhejiang Venture Capital. Yegrand Smart develops photon pickup and Doppler lidar equipment for measuring vibration. Founded in 2021, it is based in Hangzhou, China.