Automotive Chip Company Valens Raises $63 Million
Valens manufactures semiconductor products for the delivery of uncompressed HD multimedia content for the automotive market
Israel-based automotive chip company Valens Semiconductor Ltd. has raised $63 million from New York-based investment firm Oppenheimer Asset Management and Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Linse Capital, the company announced Tuesday. This investment brings the company’s total equity raised to $167 million to date. Existing investors include Goldman Sachs and Samsung.In the past two years, Samsung also invested in two Israeli startups—AudioBurst Ltd., an artificial intelligence and deep learning-based audio content search service, and Imagry LLC, a startup developing a cameras-only level 4-5 self-driving technology.
Founded in 2006, Valens manufactures semiconductor products for the delivery of uncompressed HD multimedia content for the automotive, industrial, and consumer electronics markets. The company employs 350 people in offices in Hod Hasharon, a town in central Israel, in Pasadena, and in Asia.
Valens CEO Dror Jerushalmi. Photo: Orel Cohen
Valens intends to use the funding to extend its portfolio of products.
In recent years, Israel has become a hub for new technologies for the automotive industry. One of the most prominent players in the field in Israel is Samsung, which in 2016 announced the $8 billion acquisition of connected car and audio technology company Harman International Industries Inc., and in the process gained its Israeli subsidiaries, mobile software management technology company Harman RedBend and automotive cybersecurity company TowerSec Inc.
Another big player is Intel, which in 2017 acquired Jerusalem-based automotive chip company Mobileye for $15.3 billion. German car parts maker Continental AG announced in November 2017 the acquisition of Israel-based car cybersecurity company Argus Cyber Security Ltd. Daimler, Hyundai, Renault-Nissan, SEAT, and Skoda have all opened or announced plans to open research and development centers or technology incubators in Israel in 2017.