On January 21, Camsense, a Chinese monocular visual spatial positioning technology provider, announced the completion of an 80 million yuan B round of financing. The lead investor is AVIC Pingshan Integrated Circuit Fund, and the co-investors are Puhua Capital, Tianle Investment, and old shareholder Feng Yang. Capital and Chenhui Ventures continued to add, and Zhijin Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor for this round of financing. Previously, Camsense has successively received institutional investment such as Oriental Fortune Capital, Yicun Capital, Fengyang Capital, Chenhui Ventures, and Nanling Fund. It is reported that the funds will be used for new product development, production line expansion, and technology iteration.
In this round of financing, in addition to the old shareholders Fengyang Capital and Chenhui Venture Capital who continued to bet as co-investors, the AVIC Pingshan Integrated Circuit Fund and Puhua Capital, etc., are all well-established equity investment management institutions with rich investment experience.
Camsense, founded in 2014, is a typical hard technology company. At present, it has become a mainstream visual sensor provider in the industry by virtue of its advantages in technology accumulation and innovation. Its products are widely used in robotics, VR/AR, industrial/medical In other fields, the average annual compound growth rate of the business is as high as 300%. The extensive layout of products and the market prospects of the industries involved may be the key to its popularity with capital.
In response to this round of financing, the lead investor AVIC Pingshan Integrated Circuit Fund stated that Camsense has monocular visual spatial positioning core algorithms and chips with completely independent intellectual property rights, and the company's consumer-grade lidar shipments have jumped to the forefront in 2020. Shipments will reach more than one million units in 2021. In addition, the company is also the only company in China that can provide VR/AR monocular vision 6-DOF interactive technology with independent intellectual property rights, and has carried out in-depth cooperation with many leading customers in the VR field. In view of the success in the field, AVIC Pingshan Integrated Circuit Fund will provide support to the company in terms of customers, supply chain resources, and industrial implementation, forming an industrial closed loop.
At the same time, Song Aixia, Investment Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers, also believes: "Camsense's core team has always maintained a high degree of sensitivity to the market, and continued to upgrade and upgrade products, creating products that can stand the test of the market and time." "LiDAR Biography Sense technology is an area that Puhua Capital has been paying attention to and has continued to deploy. Camsense is currently performing very well in the consumer-grade field. It has the ultimate product strength and caters to the downstream replaceable stock market and predictable incremental market. Demand continues to burst The rapid growth of Camsense is highly certain." Wu Xiaofeng, a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, affirmed Camsense's growth potential.
Multi-point layout of products to create star products
Since its inception, Camsense has focused on the research and development of monocular vision technology, and has found a landing track for the technology, forming a diverse product line and perfect solutions for different industries. It mainly includes consumer products Camsense X1, X2 (Lidar), Camsense XR (VR/AR tracking and positioning system) and professional products Camsense S (mobile high-precision positioning system), Camsense M Pro (high-precision positioning system).
During the three-year start-up period, Camsense explored the market while digging in technology.
In 2017, the current star product - LiDAR Camsense X1 was established. This product has the characteristics of Camsense. Through technological innovation and the advantages of its own algorithm, it adopts the technical route of self-developed ASIC chip + area array Sensor, which is integrated in the laser. In the radar module, it not only reduces the cost, but also improves the stability of the product, which brings a huge impact on the entire industry, accelerates the transformation of the sweeping robot industry, and promotes its development and popularization. Following the successful market performance of the Camsense X1, Camsense released the Camsense X2 lidar product in 2020. In addition to the performance improvement, it also changed the appearance design. The volume of the fuselage saves internal space for the whole machine manufacturer. Its appearance provides the possibility for Camsense to reach more customers and further develop the market. Camsense X series products have been in existence for three years, and now they have become the mainstream supplier in the field of sweeping robot lidar.
In terms of professional-grade products, Camsense still has a good performance. The positioning accuracy of its high-precision positioning system can reach 0.2mm, and it also has a great competitive advantage compared with industry leaders in terms of cost and performance. Currently covered customers include COMAC, 360 Robotics Laboratory, Midea Robotics Laboratory, etc.
Camsense's CEO Christopher said that in the short to medium term, the company's lidar business is growing very fast and is currently the main source of income. In the long run, the market size of VR/AR and industrial medical field is larger, which is another high ground for the company's development in the future, but this market is in an earlier stage.
"So the company's investment focus at different stages will be different. In the short and medium term, the lidar business will be the main business. But in the long run, products in the VR/AR and industrial medical fields will be the main source of the company's future business growth." He said.
Chenhui Ventures, an old shareholder, said that in the past year, Camsense's products have undergone large-scale mass production verification by benchmark customers in terms of performance, quality control, and production capacity. We continue to believe and support that Camsense's series of high-precision vision products will be applied to more consumer and industrial scenarios.
Explore technology with Great Energy
It is not easy for start-ups to gain a firm foothold in the market. Christopher believes that hard technology companies should find a suitable field for them according to the characteristics of their own technology, so that the technology will no longer be shelved and make it truly beneficial to the people.
For products like the company's lidar that ultimately serve the public, the high quality and price ratio of the products are the keys to winning the favor of the market, so the innovation and reliability of the products are particularly important. For example, the Camsense lidar product is ultimately integrated into the sweeping robot, and the collision and drop during its movement have extremely high requirements on the stability of the lidar product.
Camsense's innovative technical strength has greatly improved the stability of the product. It uses consumer-grade area array Sensors to replace industrial-grade line array Sensors, and transforms the chips shipped in large numbers on mobile phones and PCs through algorithm innovation. Available, on the basis of not increasing the cost, replacing the original expensive, industrial-grade chips, the vertical field of view of the area-array-level Sensor can reach 30°-40°, even if the robot collides during the movement process, it will not affect the lidar. It also makes the later assembly industry process simpler and faster, and greatly improves the production capacity.
At present, Camsense's R&D personnel account for 70%, and the company's annual capital investment in technology research and development accounts for about half of the company's total cost. Therefore, Camsense's technical reserves will be six months to a year ahead of the market, which will create a sufficient window for the company's products to be launched. At the same time, in 2020, experienced executives in key positions, such as R&D, supply chain, and marketing, were introduced, which laid a solid foundation for the company's overall development.
Yang Xi, a partner of Fengyang Capital, an old shareholder in this round of blessing, said: "Camsense is an important layout of Fengyang Capital in the field of AIoT intelligent terminals. The company realizes highly competitive intelligent terminal spatial positioning and navigation through algorithm and hardware system innovation. products, especially for the application of intelligent sweepers. Sweepers have continued to grow rapidly in recent years, and we believe that this is a category that may reach a market of 100 million in the future. Surpassing competitors. This financing will help the company's production capacity construction and R&D investment, further consolidate its leadership in the industry. Fengyang Capital will also continue to use its extensive layout in the AIoT field to empower Camsense's development."
Xin Shuangqi, head of this round of financing, Zhijin Capital, said: "In the field of consumer-grade lidar, Camsense's series of products have been widely recognized by customers for their high cost performance and strong stability. It can be extended horizontally to other fields, such as 6-Dof positioning for VR, dynamic tracking of surgical equipment in the medical field, and fields such as industry and military.”
With the support of this round of funds, Camsense will continue to increase the R&D and production capacity improvement of the lidar product line in the future, including functional products such as obstacle avoidance and long-distance ranging. At the same time, we will conduct in-depth technical exploration in the fields of VR/AR, industrial medical care, etc., forming high-tech competition barriers.