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Imaging sensor startup Vayyar lands $108M to fuel expansion

·3-min read

Vayyar, a company developing radar-imaging sensor technologies, today announced that it raised $108 million in a Series E round led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with participation from GLy Capital Management, Atreides Management LP, KDT, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Ventures, More VC, Regal Four and Claltech. The round brings Vayyar's total raised to over $300 million, which CEO Raviv Melamed said is being put toward expanding across verticals and introducing a "family" of machine learning-powered sensor solutions for robotics, retail, public safety and "smart" building products.

"We are pleased and proud to progress our partnership with existing investors including KDT, as well as additional backers which are joining forces with us for the first time," Melamed said in a statement. "During a challenging period for the global economy, this new funding round is a ringing endorsement of our mission and a clear vote of confidence in the strength of our technology and the strategic agility of our organization."

Founded in 2011 by Miri Ratner, Naftali Chayat and Melamed, who was previously VP of Intel's architecture group, Vayyar initially developed its sensor technology to provide an alternative means of screening for early-stage breast cancer. Leveraging MIMO antennas, short for "multiple input, multiple output," Vayyar's products can deliver a high-resolution mapping of their surroundings by sending and receiving signals from dozens of antennas.

Vayyar later expanded its "radar-on-chip" technology from healthtech to a number of other sectors, including automotive, senior care, retail, smart home and commercial property. Vayyar sells Vayyar Care, a fall detection system for monitoring people at higher risk of tripping and falling in bedrooms, bathrooms and other living spaces. In the automotive industry, Vayyar offers solutions for collision warnings, parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, seatbelt detection and automatic breaking. And in construction, Vayyar provides a handheld sensor called Walabot for detecting leaky pipes behind walls.

Vayyar competes with Entropix, Photonic Vision, Noitom Technology, Aquifi and ADI, among others, which offer their own flavors of MIMO-based sensors. But the company has long asserted that its software and algorithms set it apart from the competition. Evidently, they were impressive enough to convince Amazon to partner with Vayyar for fall detection on Alexa Together, a subscription service that remotely monitors and assists family members in their homes.

In recent years, Vayyar has entered into customer relationships with brands like Piaggio Group, which will deploy Vayyar's sensors on some of its forthcoming motorbikes. The company also claims to have supply contracts with automakers from Japan and Vietnam as well as a joint venture agreement with Haier subsidiary HCH Ventures to leverage the latter's "senior care technology" in China-based businesses.

Signaling ambitions in the Asia-Pacific market in particular, Vayyar noted in a press release that it engaged China International Capital Corporation Limited, a Beijing-based investment company, as its lead financial adviser for the Series E explicitly to "support investor outreach in China." (One of Vayyar's newer offices is in China.) Somewhat unusually, Vayyar's Series E came just under its Seres D, which totaled $109 million. It's unclear whether the valuation has changed -- TechCrunch last reported that Vayyar was valued "north" of $600 million.

Vayyar tells us the latest funding values the company at over $1 billion.

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