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Softbank, Leica invest in computational camera startup Light Co. Press releases 

Softbank, Leica invest in computational camera startup Light Co.

Light Raises $121 Million From SoftBank Vision Fund And Leica Camera AG

Light, the leader in advanced computational imaging, today announced a Series D funding round of $121 million, led by the SoftBank Vision Fund. The renowned Leica Camera AG also participated in the financing. Light’s groundbreaking imaging platform enables machines to see like humans do, using sophisticated algorithms to combine images from multiple camera modules into a single high-quality image and enabling highly-accurate 3D depth extraction.

Welcome to the era of the software-defined camera.

Dave Grannan
CEO & co-founder, Light

In this era, pocketable, connected cameras can reconstruct the world in three dimensions and superhuman detail, cars are able to perceive the objects around them without the need for special sensors, and robots are able to thread the elusive needle autonomously.

Light’s highly accurate depth mapping can be used to create rich and complex environments for a wide-range of applications including augmented reality.

The new funding will allow Light to expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography and into security, robotic, automotive, aerial and industrial imaging applications. Later this year, the first mobile phone incorporating Light’s technology will be available to consumers around the world. It will shatter the expectations of mobile photography.

Dr. Rajiv Laroia
CTO & co-founder, Light

“Light’s technology is a revelation, showing that several small, basic camera modules, combined with highly powerful software, can produce images that rival those produced by cameras costing and weighing orders of magnitude more. We’re just getting started. Having the support of SoftBank Vision Fund as a strategic investor means this technology will see more of the world sooner than we could have ever imagined,” said Dave Grannan, Light CEO and Co-founder.

“Light is a world leader in computational imaging. By replacing mechanical complexity with digital sophistication, they have been able to drastically reduce the size, weight, and cost of traditional cameras. This has paved the way for a whole new era of intelligent imaging applications” said Akshay Naheta, Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe that the opportunity to proliferate these technologies across other data-rich imaging platforms means that Light will completely revolutionize the world of mobile imaging and we are excited to be supporting the team in realising this ambition.”

“The Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of technology leadership, precision engineering, and craftsmanship. Since the birth of its first digital camera in 1996, Leica has embarked on a path of digital photography technology evolution. With the rapid development of the computational photography, partnering with the innovators at Light ensures Leica to extend its tradition of excellence into the computational photography era,” said Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, Leica Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

“It is humbling to have the support of the most iconic camera brand in the world. We are excited by the overwhelming potential of the collaboration with Leica,” said Dr. Rajiv Laroia, Light CTO and Co-founder.

The SoftBank Vision Fund investment will be made in tranches, subject to certain conditions.

Light’s foundational technologies, including its Lux Capacitor camera control chip and its Polar Fusion Engine for multi-image processing, are licensed for use in applications like smartphones, security, automotive, robotics, drones, and more. To learn more about opportunities to deploy Light’s powerful technology visit: light.co/solutions

About Light

Light logoLight is pioneering the era of the software-defined camera. Powered by sophisticated computational processes, software-defined cameras deliver intelligent, high-quality imaging at cost-effective, global scale. Light’s first product, the award-winning L16 Camera, has eliminated the quality or convenience dilemma that has plagued photographers for a century. Light’s foundational technologies, including its Lux Capacitor camera control chip, Polar Fusion Engine for multi-image processing and Constellation camera array calibration system, are licensed for use in applications like smartphones and beyond. To learn more about Light, visit light.co.

About the Light L16 Camera

Light’s award-winning L16 is a little camera with unlimited potential. The L16 camera combines breakthrough optics with a sophisticated computational imaging engine to bring breathtaking photography anywhere. The L16 Camera delivers up to 52-megapixels of image resolution, 5x optical zoom, unparalleled low-light performance, creative control over focus and depth effects after capture – all in a small, intuitive, and connected experience. To see the L16 and the pictures that are turning heads around the world, visit light.co/camera.

About Leica Camera AG

Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.

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