Momenta – which is into building software for autonomous cars, has raised $46 million in Series B round led by NIO Capital. It offers Deep-learning powered 3D mapping of routes in real time with object recognition sensors.The startup claims to be collecting 60 Billion miles of data to test their Autonomous driving technology that can be used for the Driver-less tech industry. One of the major strengths of Momenta is their expertise in understanding visual images and layouts in real-time ie. Pedestrians, lanes, signals, signs etc. They also claim that their advanced digital image processing software can read body postures of pedestrians and even predict their intentions before hand.
The Self-driving software from Momenta is capable of mapping each moving object ( vehicles,bikes ) in real time and accurately derive the distance, orientation, direction etc. One of the impressive points in the pitch by this startup is the ability of their platform to provide scalable & production ready HD mapping solution at just 1/10th of the cost other LIDAR equipped data collection methods can provide.
Other ventures who participated in this round were Shunwei Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Unity Ventures and Daimler.
Note: Momenta is a Beijing based venture started by 3 Ex-Microsoft employees and few PhD researchers ( Xudong Cao, Shaoqing Ren, Yan Xia, Gang Sun). Some other startups that are into building software for Driver-less cars are Drive.AI, NuTonomy etc. ( check them here ).
This deal has been in news for all good reasons. One of them being that such a young startup raising such a significant investment. The main eye catching factor of this deal was Daimler AG. Daimler( the company behind Mercedes ) has already taken recognizable steps in bringing autonomous vehicles on road. They plan to take fully autonomous cars on road within 5 years. Recently, Daimler also show cased their cars parking themselves in the parking slots.
For Daimler – this is the third investment deal they have participated in. Earlier they have been in part of the rounds for Matternet and Starship Technologies. Both of them are startups for building autonomous drones.