Outsight, the French startup that develops 3D monitoring systems and sensors, has raised $20 million of seed funding, one of the largest seed rounds in Europe in 2019. The round was led by Demeter Partners, SPDG (the holding company of the Périer-D’Ieteren family), and the Energy Transition Capital arm of BNP Paribas bank.

With a team based in Paris, Helsinki, and San Francisco, the company has developed the first 3D Semantic Camera, a device that can both perceive and understand the environment, even identifying the material composition of surrounding objects. The device is supposedly an “all-in-one solution” for 3D sensing and is designed for mass production.

In a vehicle, this sensor will provide new levels of safety and reliability for man-controlled machines such as Level 1-3 ADAS (Advanced Driving Assistance Systems), construction/mining equipment, planes and more. The technology will also help usher in fully automated smart machines such as Level 4-5 self-driving cars, robots, drones, and autonomous flying taxis.

“Our 3D Semantic Camera is not only a new device but a change of paradigm where Situation Awareness becomes plug-and-play for the first time: we’re creating a new category of solutions that will unleash tremendous business value,” explained Raul Bravo, President and co-founder.

Founded in 2019 by Bravo and Cedric Hutchings, Outsight currently has two families of products: a 3D Smart Monitoring solution for wide-area premises such as airports, malls, and venues, and a specific version for vehicles, such as cars and off-road mobile robots. The company launched its 3D Semantic Camera in September at AutoSens, the global convention for vehicle automation and self-driving cars.

“By combining contrarian software and hardware approaches from day one, we bring situation awareness to new levels of performance and integration, thus accelerating the deployment of this critical capability for any AI that interacts with the real world.” explained Cedric Hutchings, CEO and co-founder.

Commenting on the round, Laura Wirsztel of BNP Paribas, said: “With Outsight, we finally found a cost efficient 3D perception solution enabling a significant breakthrough beyond what LiDARs and 2D Cameras can deliver. Beyond the immediate ADAS applications, Outsight’s technological solution will be a key enabler in the emergence of autonomous vehicles that we see as shared and electric in the future. This investment is in line with our strategy to invest in startups that can play a role in the reshaping of tomorrow’s sustainable mobility and accelerate the energy transition.”

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