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Vision-oriented AI company Recogni raises $25M; investors include Toyota AI Ventures, BMW i Ventures, Faurecia

Recogni Inc., the designers of a vision-oriented artificial intelligence platform for autonomous vehicles, announced $25 million in Series A financing led by GreatPoint Ventures with participation from Toyota AI Ventures, BMW i Ventures, Faurecia, Fluxunit (VC arm of lighting and photonics company OSRAM), and DNS Capital.

As the automotive industry is transitioning to autonomous vehicles, a network of computers is needed to drive these vehicles efficiently on a limited energy budget. While these AI systems are trained offline, they need to process the sensor data in real-time in the vehicle. Recogni is focused on creating high-performance and low-power AI processing to help make autonomous vehicles a reality.

Using a Vision Cognition Processor, Recogni will address the endpoint inferencing problem with autonomous vehicles efficiently. The system identifies small objects—such as traffic lights—from more than 200m away in realtime. Unlike LiDARs and RADARs, Recogni can tell you if the lights are red, yellow or green because it works on imaging data.

The Recogni Vision Cognition System uses a diverse set of image sensors to identify significantly smaller objects at a much larger distance compared to competitors, while consuming a fraction of power.

The company’s founders possess deep industry experience in system design, AI, vision, and custom silicon design.

The issues within the Level 2+, 3, 4 and 5 autonomy ecosystem range from capturing/generating training data to inferring in real-time. These vehicles need datacenter class performance while consuming minuscule amounts of power. Leveraging our background in machine learning, computer vision, silicon, and system design, we are engineering a fundamentally new system that benefits the auto industry with very high efficiency at the lowest power consumption. This round, one of the largest initial venture rounds raised by any AI silicon company in the space, is testament to our experience and responsible approach.

—RK Anand, CEO of Recogni

The ability to process sensor data on the edge efficiently and in real-time is esential in the development of autonomous vehicles. We believe that Recogni has the right approach and an experienced team to help solve these critical issues as the automotive industry continues on its parth towards semi-autonomous and fully autonomous and vehicles.

—Marcus Behrendt, partner BMW i Ventures

Recogni plans to use the funds to deliver the most capable inferencing system to enable state of the art sensor fusion of visual and depth sensor data while continuing to grow its engineering team. The company is currently in discussion with multiple auto manufacturers to provide a full suite of enabling technology, from modules to software.

Founded in 2018 and headquartered in San Jose, Calif., the company has operations in Munich, Germany.


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