LiDAR manufacturer Blickfeld secures €15 million from European Investment Bank

Blickfeld Founder & CEO Mathias Mueller

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €15 million (£12.7 million) in financing to Blickfeld GmbH, a manufacturer of hardware and software for smart LiDAR solutions.

Funding is being provided under the EIB’s venture debt programme, which is tailored to the specific financing needs of high-growth innovative companies. The sums are secured by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), also known as the “Juncker Plan.”

LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging and is a method for capturing the environment. Light is used in the form of a pulsed laser to recognise, categorise and count objects. LiDAR sensors generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape and surface properties of surrounding objects. In the future, LiDAR will increasingly be used in autonomous driving and many industrial applications.

The technology is already used in the data protection-compliant collection of vehicle and people flow in the retail space and public places. It is also used to optimise traffic flows in urban planning (smart cities) and to reduce false alarms in building and security systems. The detailed three-dimensional capture of the environment can also help to measure materials such as sugar beets, fertiliser or recycled materials that were previously complex and cost-intensive to quantify.

Blickfeld will use the additional capital to accelerate the development of its LiDAR solutions in autonomous driving and a variety of industrial applications, and to expand its position in key international markets. Today, the number of employees is 130 and is growing rapidly. The company is currently opening regional offices in international markets such as the US and China. The technology is optimised for use in many new applications.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who is responsible for Germany and EFSI, said: “With our venture debt program, we support innovative young companies that need long-term growth capital to fully focus on the further development of their products and their global marketing. The funding of Blickfeld shows the EIB’s strong commitment to supporting innovative early-stage companies to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness.”

Mathias Müller, Founder and CEO of Blickfeld, said: “The EIB’s support is testimony to Blickfeld’s maturity as a company and the confidence that those responsible have in the potential of our LiDAR technology. The capital provided by the EIB is the ideal financial instrument for us to expand even faster. We are convinced that our LiDAR solutions will make a real difference for many industries and we are very pleased that the EIB has recognised an important innovative technology that will strengthen Europe’s position as a key centre of industry and business.”