Aeva, a laser-sensor startup founded by two ex-Apple engineers, is poised to increase its war chest by $200 million with an investment by a Hong Kong-based hedge fund ahead of its public listing via a reverse merger.
LiDAR, a system of laser-based sensors that allows a vehicle to “see” its surroundings, is among the most expensive components of autonomous cars and key to enabling more advanced self-driving features. With robotaxis still years away, LiDAR companies are targeting limited self-driving features in passenger cars and consumer devices and industrial robots.
Aeva — a company that’s yet to turn a profit — is valued at about $3 billion, the startup’s chief executive officer, Soroush Salehian, said in an interview. Aeva plans to use the extra cash to meet demand from consumer device companies and speed up some of its technological achievement milestones, he said.
Salehian, who helped develop the Apple Watch during his almost five years as a product manager at the tech giant, says Aeva has an edge in consumer devices because its tech can be fit onto a chip small enough for tablets and smartphones, as well as the bulkier boxes used for automotive LiDAR.
Aeva has said it’s received strategic investments from Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the majority shareholder of Volkswagen AG. The company also is working with VW brand Audi, and with customers in trucking and mobility, Salehian said. It expects to generate revenue from series production of a car starting in 2024…
MacDailyNews Take: The automotive world is going to be changing very rapidly in the next few years.