Israel’s Corephotonics Raises $15 Million; Investors Include Samsung Ventures, Foxconn, MediaTek and a Tier-1 Smartphone OEM
The company, which pioneered dual cameras for smartphones, will use the funds to develop next generation cameras, and to expand its design wins among mobile OEMs
(Tel Aviv, January 11, 2017) – Corephotonics, a startup developing dual camera technologies for smartphones, recently completed a $15 million funding round. To date, the company has raised more than $50 million.
Participating in the current funding round are a number of strategic investors: Samsung Ventures; Foxconn, the world’s largest electronic components manufacturer, which among other things manufactures the iPhone; Taiwan’s MediaTek, one of the largest mobile semiconductor companies in the world; and a tier-1 smartphone OEM. The round was led by MizMaa Ventures Ltd and Beijing Singularity Power Investment Management Co., Ltd.
Corephotonics’ current investors include Magma VC, Samsung Ventures, Amiti Ventures, Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing and Solina Chau’s Horizon Ventures, OurCrowd – the equity crowdfunding firm, flash storage solutions company SanDisk, Chinese telephony services provider CK Telecom, and BetaAngels VC.
The New Standard in Advanced Smartphones: Dual Cameras
Corephotonics is the pioneer and market leader of dual camera technologies for smartphones. The company’s technology improves the image quality, and enables imaging capabilities that until now were only available in professional cameras. The technology is based on the combination of two cameras, which enables stills photography with optical zoom of up to 3x and up to 8x zoom in video, even in low light conditions. It also enables creating a bokeh effect (blurring the picture’s background and making the main subject stand out), a considerable improvement in picture resolution, and preventing motion blur.
In 2016 the smartphone market began adopting such solutions, led by Apple, which uses similar technology in its iPhone 7 Plus, supporting optical zoom and digital bokeh. During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week, more than half of the advanced smartphones announced were using dual main cameras.
The company was founded in 2012 by Professor David Mendlovic of Tel Aviv University, a former chief scientist of the Ministry of Science and today the company’s CEO; Dr. Gal Shabtay, who serves as VP R&D; and Eran Kali, VP Licensing. The three entrepreneurs previously recorded several successful exits, including Eyesquad, which also dealt with mobile photography.
Investing in Future Camera Generations
The investment, along with the existing cash on hand and revenue forecast for 2017, will be used for developing next generation cameras for smartphones, and for expanding existing products’ penetration. In addition, the new funding will help Corephotonics expand into the automotive, drone, surveillance, and action camera markets.
Corephotonics, which currently has 50 employees, intends to recruit dozens of additional engineers for the company’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, as well as support and integration engineers in China and South Korea, following an expected significant growth in sales. In addition, the company is exploring opportunities to acquire complementary technologies.
“We established Corephotonics in order to improve the image quality in smartphones, and to provide consumers with a unique user experience, after we identified this need of device manufacturers,” said Corephotonics CEO David Mendlovic. “We successfully predicted the use of dual cameras, and we currently see such cameras being integrated into a broad range of smartphones by all leading manufacturers. We are pleased that top tier investors have expressed confidence in our capabilities, allowing us to develop next generation camera technologies, which will reach the market within the next few years.”
Head of Samsung Ventures in Israel, Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra, said: “Samsung Ventures is determined to invest in ever-more compelling solutions for mobile devices, using the best-of-breed technologies, and Corephotonics is a world-renowned leader in the mobile imaging space”.