Cathay CarTech completes funding round for world leader in 3D sensing systems UPhoton

May 4, 2020

Cathay CarTech Fund, in partnership with Lenovo Capital, THG Ventures, TusStar Invest and ZOL QiHang Investment, has recently completed a 100 million RMB funding round for UPhoton. The leading 3D sensing system supplier once again won the recognition of capital markets. Several existing shareholders such as Shunwei Capital and Baidu Venture have increased their participation.

3D sensing systems function as the eyes of an increasing number of intelligent appliances and as the core sensor for artificial intelligence. It has already been widely applied in security & surveillance, consumer electronics, automobile sensing and industrial inspection.

UPhoton has developed a deep expertise in 3D sensing technologies over the years. With its in-house design & production capacity it produces complete sensing systems from the core diffractive optical elements (DOEs) to the projection optical modules and depth map algorithms. Concretely, as the only domestic supplier of mass-produced core DOEs, UPhoton is uniquely able to offer low-cost, low power consumption and highly customizable 3D sensing systems. The company’s clients include the world’s most famous mobile phone manufacturers and the world’s largest e-commerce and warehousing logistics companies.

UPhoton leads the world in 3D sensing technology R&D and product manufacturing capabilities as well as DOE algorithm design and semiconductor fab processes. Since 2017, UPhoton has developed innovative optical elements combining both refraction and diffraction. Used in 3D optical sensing systems, this technology reduces the number of components by up to 60% and enables the mass production of a highly integrated, small size and low-cost solution. UPhoton’s patented technology greatly expands the application range of 3D sensing systems, offering a long distance, highly precise and safe product to customers in the mobile phone, security & surveillance, and automobile industries.

Dr. Kehan TIAN, founder and CEO of UPhoton, said: “We are honored to be recognized by THG, Cathay and Lenovo Capital. Their investment is an affirmation of UPhoton’s ability to create real value for customers. Cooperating with the most famous mobile phone manufacturers in the world allowed us to defeat renowned international companies from the mobile phone supply chain, successfully help our customers reduce BOM costs, improve eye safety and achieve mass production.”

This funding round will enable UPhoton to strengthen its technological leadership by continuing the expansion of R&D, especially in DOEs and depth map algorithm, which are the two main foundations for advanced 3D sensing systems, but also in optical chips and sensing systems. Uphoton will also increase the mass production of core DOEs for mobile phone and other industries and develop the application of 3D sensing systems in consumer electronics, security & surveillance, and the automobile sectors.

Key team members of UPhoton have more than 10 years of R&D and senior management experience in the industry. They all come from world leading technology companies such as IBM, 3M, Philips, UMC, STMicroelectronics, Schlumberger, Samsung, or Faurecia.

Since its establishment, UPhoton has been favored by top investment institutions. It successfully completed its angel round of financing led by Zhen Fund and Legend Star in 2016 and its A Series funding round led by Shunwei Capital and Baidu Venture in 2017.

Maoxiang LI, partner at Cathay CarTech, added: “Intelligent 3D sensing systems are a great focus for Cathay. They have a very wide range of potential applications for the future. UPhoton has accumulated unique value in 3D sensing system R&D and manufacturing. Notably, the company has started mass production for Android phones. UPhoton has already established its top design and production capacity in 3D sensing systems and Cathay will now fully leverage its global resources to help the company achieve its next breakthrough starting with the automobile industry.”