SteerLight Raises €3.2 Million For Smarter 3D Vision And Safer Mobility

EventNewsPortfolio21 March 2024

This CEA-Leti spin-off is developing a high-performance miniature LIDAR module to meet the requirements of mobility and Industry 4.0. This support highlights the potential of SteerLight’s technology for the industry, as well as the innovative capacity of the French ecosystem in cutting-edge fields.

© SteerLight

Grenoble, France, March 20 2024 – SteerLight, the CEA-Leti spin-off that is revolutionizing LIDAR technology using silicon photonics, announces the closing of a €2 million funding round from a group of investors led by Stellantis Ventures, along with Quantonation and LIFTT, venture capital focused on deep-tech. This funding comes on top of a €1.2 million loan granted by three banks, including Bpifrance.

François Simoens, PhD, Founder and CEO of SteerLight, explains: Our company uses CEA innovations and converts them into practical applications. Our functional demonstrator has shown its usefulness in the laboratory. This round of funding will now enable us to develop a functional demonstrator that will be tested in an industrial environment, and to speed up the design of the first LIDAR product prototype. Subsequently, a further round of funding will be needed to accelerate the production of this product and to develop the second generation, which will serve customers in both the industry and the automotive sector, aiming for mass production at a competitive price.

This injection of capital will enable SteerLight to continue developing its LIDAR prototype based on a microchip. This technology, which exploits silicon photonics, promises to deliver substantial improvements in terms of performance, cost and compactness compared with existing LIDAR solutions. By using an alternative method to mechanical technologies used by other LIDAR in favor of photonics, SteerLight creates more robust chips, with more accurate rendering and less subject to parasitic flux.

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© SteerLight

SteerLight’s LIDAR module will initially be dedicated to Industry 4.0, with the manufacture of sensors for industrial applications to help autonomous robots find their way more quickly and safely – with less risk of collision. The sensors will then be adapted for use in infrastructure solutions, smart cities and transport vehicles in uncontrolled environments.

Ned Curic, Stellantis Chief Engineering & Technology Officer, said: “A central aspect of our Dare Forward 2030 initiatives is identifying groundbreaking technologies that deliver substantial value to our customers on a large scale. Automated driving enhancements remain a top priority at Stellantis. The game-changing work at SteerLight can enable enhanced and widespread ADAS applications.”

Jean-Gabriel Boinot-Tramoni, Principal at Quantonation, the leading VC Fund in Quantum Technologies, declares:Steerlight leverages new innovations across integrated photonics to unlock large scale adoption of LIDAR for industrial applications. Their technology enables monolithic integration of laser and the detection mechanisms into a scalable LIDAR product. We are excited with this investment to support Steerlight in the technological development of new, important products.

Aurora Castello, project manager at LIFTT, stated:The LiDAR market is poised for explosive growth in the coming years. Steerlight’s technology stands at the forefront of the industry’s tech roadmap. This is precisely why LIFTT is enthusiastic about investing in Steerlight—their cutting-edge LiDAR solution represents a game-changing advancement, and we are committed to support them on their innovation path.

About SteerLight

Founded in 2022 as a spin-off from CEA-Leti and based in Grenoble, SteerLight has rapidly established itself as a key player in the LiDAR technology sector. The start-up, which has won several awards including Techinnov and i-Lab, is scaling up the results of more than 10 years of research and development carried out at CEA-Leti in silicon photonics, 3D packaging and embedded algorithms.

About Stellantis

Stellantis N.V. (NYSE: STLA / Euronext Milan: STLAM / Euronext Paris: STLAP) is one of the world’s leading automakers aiming to provide clean, safe and affordable freedom of mobility to all. It’s best known for its unique portfolio of iconic and innovative brands including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep®, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Vauxhall, Free2move and Leasys. Stellantis is executing its Dare Forward 2030, a bold strategic plan that paves the way to achieve the ambitious target of becoming a carbon net zero mobility tech company by 2038, with single-digit percentage compensation of the remaining emissions, while creating added value for all stakeholders.

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Chaired by the scientist and entrepreneur Stefano Buono, LIFTT’s aim is to encourage technology development and transfer from University to Industry, but also to clear the way from a simple business idea to the creation of an innovative product, offering a dynamic and modern vision of venture capital as applied to Technology Transfer. To date, LIFTT has raised EUR 103,7 million and has completed 48 investments, from a pipeline of +3000 companies, operating in all market sectors, with a particular focus on Deep Tech. Head of Communications & Investor relations:

About Quantonation

Quantonation is the first early-stage VC fund dedicated to deep physics and quantum technologies. Field such as high-performance computation, secure communications, drug design or ultra-precise sensing are now driven by innovation based on these disruptive technologies. With +€150m of Assets Under Management and an international team of both scientists and investors Quantonation aims at supporting the transition from physics lab to commercially available products. Quantonation is headquartered in Paris, France, and in Boston, USA, with investments in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.

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