Israeli Mobileye founders, Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, had just agreed to sell their autonomous vehicle technology firm to Intel for $15.3 billion, are looking to take second startup public on the NYSE or Nasdaq by the end of the year.
Mean while, the duo has closed a $41 million financing round that values their artificial vision device startup OrCam, at $600 million. Chairman Amnon Shashua has told “Reuters.”
The Jerusalem based OrCam was founded in 2010. The company has raised $63 million to date, including the current financing round. Although details about the new investors were not disclose, the previous investors included Intel Capital, BRM and Aviv Venture Capital.
OrCam has developed a computer vision device that includes a miniature video camera and processing unit that can be attached to eyeglasses. Through a computer vision algorithm, the device is able to vocalize texts it encounters, such as street signs, a restaurant menu, a newspaper, or a book, to those with vision problems. It can identify supermarket products and distinguish different denominations of bills. The identification is communicated to the user verbally with almost no delay from the moment the information is requested by pointing.
It can be clipped to a belt or placed into a pocket, and it needs to be kept charged.
Shashua told “Reuters” that OrCam “Sales targets for 2017 are four times more than 2016,” Shashua said. “By the end of 2018 the revenue, the profit, of the company will be at such a level, together with the ability to forecast, that it’s good enough for an IPO.”
He added “I’m going to get more responsibilities as folding in Intel’s assets in autonomous driving and leading the combined effort, but I believe that this is not going to change anything in terms of the time I spend at OrCam.”
OrCam has three products:
OrCam MyEye, helps blind to read texts in newspapers, books, documents, and signs; identifying products at home or in a store (distinguishing between a can of beans and a can of corn), It also identifies faces of individuals who were previously photographed with the device’s camera.
MyRead helps blind read digital text on a television or computer.
MyMe, is still under development can be is a small device, provides the user with information about almost anything around, such the food he is eating, the person sitting in front of him, the time he spent in his recent sports activity, etc.