Shai Agassi, founder of the Better Place electric car venture which folded, is returning to the smart transport startup scene. Agassi is executive chairperson of Rehovot-based Makalu Optics, which is still in stealth mode and has not been officially unveiled.
According to the company's website, it is developing an innovative fourth generation LiDAR for a range of autonomous vehicles, from drones to cars. It is said to be effective at a range of hundreds of meters and has no moving parts, which should help keep its price low. The company has registered a patent on its technology.
The company's founder and CEO is Sagi Zedka, a serial entrepreneur. Giora Kornblau, CEO of Terra Ventures incubator TerraLab, sits on the company's board.
LiDAR is a key component of vehicle vision systems. Several companies in the field have market caps in the billions of dollars. Intel and its Israeli subsidiary Mobileye are jointly developing LiDAR with their own technology.
Agassi has not officially been active in autotech since the collapse of the Better Place venture in 2013, but he is still one of the managers most closely identified with the Israeli autotech world.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 12, 2022.
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