Israeli startup Corephotonics, which is developing dual camera technologies for smartphones, has completed a $15 million financing round. Since it was founded in 2012, the Tel Aviv based company has raised more than $50 million.
Strategic investors participating in the financing round are Samsung Ventures; Foxconn, and Taiwan’s MediaTek. Two additional investment funds participated in this funding round, one from China and the other from Hong Kong. Corephotonics’ current investors include Magma VC, Samsung Ventures, Amiti Ventures, Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing and Solina Chau’s Horizon Ventures, OurCrowd, SanDisk, Chinese telephony services provider CK Telecom, and additional private investors.
Corephotonics, founded by CEO Prof. David Mendlovic, VP R&D Dr. Gal Shabtay, and VP licensing Eran Kali. is pioneering dual camera technologies for smartphones. The company's technology improves the image quality, and enables imaging capabilities that until now were only available in professional cameras. The technology is based on the combination of two cameras, which enables stills photography with optical zoom of up to 3x and up to 8x zoom in video, even in low light conditions. It also enables creating a bokeh effect (blurring the picture’s background and making the main subject stand out), a considerable improvement in picture resolution, and preventing motion blur.
In 2016 the smartphone market began adopting such solutions, led by Apple, which uses similar technology in its iPhone 7 Plus, supporting optical zoom and digital bokeh. During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, more than half of the advanced smartphones announced were using dual main cameras.
The investment, along with the existing cash on hand and revenue forecast for 2017, will be used for developing next generation cameras for smartphones, and for expanding existing products’ penetration. In addition, the new funding will help Corephotonics expand into the automotive, drone, surveillance, and action camera markets.
Corephotonics, which currently has 50 employees, intends to recruit dozens of additional engineers for the company’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, as well as support and integration engineers in China and South Korea, following an expected significant growth in sales. In addition, the company is exploring opportunities to acquire complementary technologies.
Mendelovic said, “We established Corephotonics in order to improve the image quality in smartphones, and to provide consumers with a unique user experience, after we identified this need of device manufacturers. We successfully predicted the use of dual cameras, and we currently see such cameras being integrated into a broad range of smartphones by all leading manufacturers. We are pleased that top tier investors have expressed confidence in our capabilities, allowing us to develop next generation camera technologies, which will reach the market within the next few years.”
Head of Samsung Ventures in Israel, Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra, said, “Samsung Ventures is determined to invest in ever-more compelling solutions for mobile devices, using the best-of-breed technologies, and Corephotonics is a world-renowned leader in the mobile imaging space."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 11, 2017
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