Israeli startup Unispectral today announced the closing of a $7.5 million Series A funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), Robert Bosch Venture Capital (RBVC), Samsung Catalyst Fund and The Tel Aviv University Technology Innovation Momentum Fund. This brings to $8 million, the money raised by the company to date.
The company is developing the next generation of digital cameras which will use hyper-spectral sensors for enhanced seeing and sensing capabilities. The company's algorithms can analyze, with just the image, a material's characteristics. This technology is already used in laboratories but Unispectral's relative advantage is in its miniaturization of sensors so that they can be installed in smartphones and marketed to the public at large.
Unispectral CEO Rami Feig, a former commander in the IDF Intelligence Corp's Technology Unit, founded the company earlier this year with Prof. David Mendelevich and Ariel Raz. Feig told "Globes" "The project is based on research carried out at Tel Aviv University. The component that we are developing can break down light for other components. Hundreds of shades. This technology allows us to check if a certain fruit is fresh and if a drug before us is branded or fake and whether milk contains bacteria."
He added, "There are on the market products that know how to do this but they are large and expensive and are used in laboratories or on aircraft mapping the world. The product is also god for the car industry. The camera can photograph the road and identify if oil or water have been spilled on it. The camera can also distinguish between a large picture of a person or a real person that might run into the road."
Feig said that he was recently in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress. "The world of mobile is hungry for change. Our new sensor that is less than a millimeter thick can be a killer application."
The company has 12 employees in its Ramat Gan offices and plans hiring eight more staff this year. Feig says that the company has still not decided what market to focus on. “This strategic investment by JVP, Bosch and Samsung demonstrates the value of our unique solution. Unispectral is leading the revolution in the way we see and capture scenes of the world, from human vision to computer vision."
The company aims to transform the four-decade standard of color sensing mechanisms in compact cameras. Its revolutionary imaging technology will provide unprecedented low light and rich color functionality, complemented by better resolution. Unispectral's hyper-spectral sensor will be applicable to a wide range of use cases such as wearables, digital health and medical imaging, Internet of Things, industrial and agriculture applications, and beyond. This breakthrough technology, backed by multiple patents, can distinguish material properties in solids, liquids and gases.
“The mobile market today is ripe for a new killer application changing the way we understand images and identify materials and objects," said Kobi Rozengarten, Managing Partner at JVP. "Unspectral is developing a game changing technology with the potential to re-envision the mobile market."
“We are excited to support this disruptive sensing technology venture, which has promising potential in multiple applications such as mobile, smart machines and IoT”, said David (Dede) Goldschmidt, Managing Director and Head of Venture Investments at Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Israel. “The investment in Unispectral demonstrates Samsung’s commitment to global innovation, and to the Israeli startups ecosystem.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 5, 2016
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016