Spartan Radar, a Los Alamitos-based sensor tech startup, has successfully closed a $10 million seed funding round to continue developing its autonomous vehicle radar software.
The round was co-led by Prime Movers Lab and 8VC, with investors like Mac VC, Alumni Ventures Group, Broom Ventures, and Gaingels also joining. The startup was founded in 2020 by Nathan Mintz to develop new biomimetic automotive radar solutions for use in autonomous vehicles.
Mintz had previously founded Epirus in 2018, a company that develops high-powered microwave products for the defense sector. Suzanne Fletcher, General Partner at Prime Movers Lab, referred to the firm’s participation in the round by stating:
“What sets Spartan apart is its deep technical team of industry experts. There are only a few CEOs out there who can build two startups that redefine their industries, and we believe Nathan is one of those founders. The Spartan team’s deep experience with military radar will help them create cutting-edge improvements to autonomous vehicle applications.”
The technology developed by Spartan Radar was designed to compete with lidar, which is the most common type of sensor used by automobile manufacturers. In conjunction with a proprietary algorithm, Spartan’s Biomimetic Radar tries to replicate human perception to reduce false detections and improve resolution. Mintz referred to this approach by stating:
“The automotive industry’s pivot to lower levels of automation makes radar more attractive than lidar. While showing lots of initial promise, lidar is failing to live up to all the hype, but the need for high-resolution systems hasn’t gone away. The processing power finally exists to utilize advanced algorithms like super-resolution in real-time to make radar a far better option for automakers.”
The funding will be used to escalate the startup’s engineering team, develop full-scale prototypes, conduct testing, and get bigger participation in the advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) market.
With autonomous vehicles becoming increasingly popular, Spartan Radar aims to improve the driver’s experience by increasing the cost-benefit of hardware and its robustness. The sensor tech startup expects its technology to become a major asset to the industry, with many automakers already showing interest in it.
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