Startups Venture

Today In VC: Autonomous Vehicles And Blockchain

Morning Report: Let’s check out a few notable rounds.

Autonomous driving and blockchain have particularly excited (and confused) the venture world over the last year, and today is no exception.

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While Google faces scrutiny regarding the state of its Waymo vehicles, a small Germany-based company called Blickfield has raised $5.7 million in seed funding for its LiDAR technology. The round, supported by Germany-based High-Tech Gründerfonds, TEV, Unternehmertum Venture Capital Parners, and Fluxnit, brings Blickfield’s total funds raised to date to $10 million.

For those of you unfamiliar with LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, it’s the bat-like, sensor-driven visual technology that allows autonomous vehicles to detect obstacles and maneuver on the road. The better the LiDAR, the less likely a Waymo car will cause an accident in an intersection.

Blickfield was founded in 2017 by Florian Petit, Mathias Müller, and Rolf Wojtecs. The 3D detection software, which includes long-range, mid-range, and wide-view sensing technology,  can be applied to both autonomous driving and other applications including farming, smart city development, and security, according to its website. The company currently has a headcount of 35 with plans to grow its engineering, sales, and marketing teams in the near future.

The Blockchain world scored today, too.

Blockchain computing company Dfinity raised $102 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital, bringing its total known capital raised to about $166 million, according to Crunchbase. While the company plans to take on big players like Amazon Web Services, according to Fortune, the crypto startup believes that mainstream use of its services is further down the road.

Though technology surrounding blockchain companies and the state of autonomous driving is less than transparent, some VCs are still betting that this tech is the future. But maybe one day we will be able to purchase an autonomous vehicle with our phones using a mainstream cryptocurrency app.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias

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