3D sensor start-up AIRY3D raises $3.5 million in seed financing | Vrupple

AIRY3D, a Canadian start-up company in 3D computer vision, today announced that it has raised US$3.5 million in an oversubscribed seed round co-led by CRCM Ventures and R7 Partners. Other investors include WI Harper Group, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners and several angel investors that are affiliates of TandemLaunch, the Montreal-based incubator that spun out AIRY3D.

This financing will allow AIRY3D to demonstrate manufacturability with its top-tier camera sensor partner and build the world’s first commercial quality 3D sensors that combine AIRY3D’s patented Transmissive Diffraction Mask (“TDM”) platform with state-of-the-art, yet off-the-shelf CMOS camera sensors. AIRY3D’s single sensor solution requires no new materials or processes and is produced using standard wafer-scale semiconductor equipment.

“AIRY3D’s team has developed a breakthrough technology that significantly reduces the size, number of components and computational load required to produce 3D images,” said Toby Zhang, general partner of CRCM Ventures. “With 3D now the new battleground for smartphones, we believe the dramatic savings of AIRY3D’s computer vision platform can usher in a next generation of imaging experiences by helping to make 3D cameras and related content ubiquitous.”

“AIRY3D’s drop-in solution requires no changes to other hardware and assembly, no custom camera sensors, lenses or image processors. This is a powerful value proposition for both end-device manufacturers and camera sensor suppliers, and explains active engagement by industry leaders. With a strong base of globally issued patents and far-reaching applications, we are excited by the commercial potential of AIRY3D’s technology,” said Ben Buettell, general partner of R7 Partners.

AIRY3D’s unique solution requires only one camera component and no active lighting system, eliminating the need for multiple components, such as dual cameras or cameras equipped with active lighting systems for depth detection. The company’s revolutionary solution is only microns thick, produces 3D camera sensors that are easily assembled and does not require massive computation overhead. The passive, single sensor 3D platform enables a full range of depth functions with unrivaled cost, size and computational efficiency while preserving 2D performance. The AIRY3D computer vision platform is poised to unlock a number of cutting edge applications in consumer electronics and AI-enabled machine vision that span next generation 3D smartphone cameras, AR/VR (augmented reality/virtual reality), collision avoidance for automotive and drones, and robotics.

“We are thrilled to attract such an impressive group of international venture capital investors, spanning Silicon Valley, Greater China, Germany and Canada. With their support, we can accelerate the introduction of our first solutions into some of the most exciting and fastest growing markets starting with consumer electronics,” said Dr. Dan Button, president & CEO of AIRY3D.