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Automotive edge AI chip designer Recogni raises $49m

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty


Recogni has raised $48.9m (€40m) for its AI automotive perception module technology, bringing the total for the US-German company to nearly $75m.

The Series B financing round was led by WRVI Capital with Robert Bosch Venture Capital and will bring its vision cognition module (VCM) to market and expand its engineering and sales teams.

New investors Mayfield Fund and  Continental joined GreatPoint Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, BMW i Ventures, Fluxunit – OSRAM Ventures, and DNS Capital in the round.

Recogni’s VCM edge AI module combines machine learning in a low power ASIC for high-resolution, high-frame-rate image processing from multiple cameras concurrently in real time. The VCM is being designed to deliver perception performance and accuracy under all traffic, weather, and lighting conditions for self-driving cars, trucks, robotaxis, and robotic delivery vehicles.

The company is based in San Jose and Munich and is reported to be developing a processor capable of 1000TOPS, although it is not yet giving details. The commercial backers are an indicator of the interest in the technology. 

“This investment is a strong endorsement of Recogni’s vision from venture and industry leaders. We are moving along our journey of solving the challenge of perception processing and power efficiency, by building the world’s highest-performing AI inference system at the lowest energy consumption,” said R K Anand, Recogni’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Continental has a strong focus on developing automated and autonomous vehicle technologies. Therefore, investing in Recogni perfectly supports our high-performance computing strategy for autonomous vehicle functions,” said Rouven Spinner, Investment Partner at Continental. “Our shared focus and complementary expertise enable us to see the value of Recogni’s vision cognition technology. We are excited to work with the Recogni team on next-generation perception technologies.”

Continental expects volume production of systems using the new chip could begin as early as 2026. “Without faster chips, there will be no networking, no automation and no autonomous driving,” emphasizes Frank Petznick, head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit at Continental. “Through our own research in the area of new chip designs, our strategic partnerships with large chip manufacturers such as NVIDIA and our investment in Recogni, we are taking the first step toward meeting the future need for highly specialized processors for sensor modules and control units for our powerful, high-performance vehicle computers.”

“RBVC invests in innovative startups that can change the course of an emerging market,” said Luis Llovera, Managing Director at Robert Bosch Venture Capital. “The outstanding performance of Recogni’s solution convinced us to invest. Their AI-powered vision platform will enable Tier 1s and OEMs to accelerate the transition from just safety features to full autonomy.”

“As a people-first investor, it always begins with the team,” said Navin Chaddha, Managing Director of Mayfield. “I first met R K seven years ago. I have always been impressed by him and we have kept in touch since then. When you combine that with our belief in the renaissance of silicon, it was obvious that Recogni’s approach to AI edge inference will help develop new generations of safe, power-efficient, self-driving vehicles. We look forward to partnering with them as they help put silicon back into Silicon Valley.”

www.recogni.com

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