The UVeye in action.

Top gear: Israeli autotech cruises along despite high-tech crisis

Israeli startups in the sector have registered impressive funding rounds and exits this year, as well as collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry

The crisis in high-tech hasn’t spared any sector, with layoffs and cutbacks being registered across the board. However, one sector that is surprisingly not only managing to keep its head above water, but actually even thriving in these challenging times, is autotech. Since the start of the year, and in particular this month, Israeli startups in the sector have registered impressive funding rounds and exits, as well as collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry.
Last week, chip designer Qualcomm announced that it would buy Israel's Autotalks, which makes chips used in technology aimed at preventing vehicle crashes. Qualcomm is estimated to have paid $350-400 million for the Israeli company, which provides automotive-qualified dual-model vehicle-to-everything (V2X) solutions that are designed to reduce collisions and improve mobility.
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יו.וי.איי סורק מכוניות אוטוטק UVeye
יו.וי.איי סורק מכוניות אוטוטק UVeye
The UVeye in action.
(Photo: UVeye)
Autotalks had previously raised a total of $110 million and employs 120 people.
Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey, and in Tel Aviv, UVeye offers vehicle inspection systems based on advanced artificial intelligence, computer vision, and machine learning technologies for both the automotive and homeland security industries.
The week prior, two Israeli startups raised a combined $73 million over two days. Foretellix, which provides safety-driven verification and validation solutions for Automated Driving Systems and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), netted $43 million in the first closing of its Series C funding round led by 83North. A day later, ADASKY, which provides proprietary LWIR (Long Wave Infrared) sensors that can help ADAS and other vision-based systems to operate more reliably in low light and in all-weather situations, received $30 million led by the American corporation Gentex. Alongside the investment, the two companies also agreed to a commercial, engineering and manufacturing collaboration agreement to help bring ADASKY’s proprietary technology to market.

The bigger players in the local scene have also been busy. Innoviz Technologies, which develops LiDAR sensors and perception software, unveiled earlier this year its new system, Innoviz360, a lightweight LiDAR that offers an improved performance at a significantly lower cost. Meanwhile, the godfather of the industry, Mobileye, has sustained an impressive market cap of over $30 billion for much of the year and just last week announced another partnership, this time with Porsche, that plans to offer in future models automated assistance and navigate-on-pilot functions based on the Mobileye SuperVision technology platform.
However, it hasn't been all positive news for the sector in 2023, as this year also marked the end of the road for autotech company Otonomo, which was acquired by Urgently after losing 95% of value. Otonomo went public via a SPAC merger at a $1.26 billion valuation in the summer of 2021, but ended up laying off almost its entire workforce before being acquired.