Automotive sector helps AI chip startup raise $50 million

February 23, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Automotive sector helps AI chip startup raise $50 million
The automotive sector – including Bosch, Continental, BMW and Toyota – has backed a German-US AI processor startup called Recogni.

Recogni Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) has raised $48.9 million in a Series B round of funding led by WRVI Capital and including Continental AG and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.

Recogni, which is headquartered in San Jose and with offices in Munich, is developing an AI vision cognition system for autonomous vehicles. In addition to WRVI Capital new capital investors included Mayfield Fund, Continental and Robert Bosch Venture Capital. They have joined existing investors GreatPoint Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, BMW i Ventures, Fluxunit-Osram Ventures, and DNS Capital

The vision cognition module (VCM) applies innovations in artificial intelligence, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), and system software.

"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.

Continental added that processor for faster object recognition is expected to be in production as soon as 2006 and added that the processor design could be complementary to Continental's existing partnership with Nvidia.

"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."

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