The financing will help with the product development and sales growth of smart sensor solutions for automotive and industrial applications.
The additional capital will support the fast-growing startup in its expansion into the United States and Asia.
The funding is secured by an EU guarantee.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €15 million in financing to Blickfeld GmbH, a manufacturer of hardware and software for smart LiDAR solutions. The funding is provided under the EIB’s venture debt programme, which is tailored to the specific financing needs of high-growth innovative companies. The sums are secured by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), also known as the “Juncker Plan.”
LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging and is a method for capturing the environment. Light is used in the form of a pulsed laser to recognise, categorise and count objects. LiDAR sensors generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape and surface properties of surrounding objects. In the future, LiDAR will increasingly be used in autonomous driving and many industrial applications.
The technology is already used in the data protection-compliant collection of vehicle and people flow in the retail space and public places. It is also used to optimise traffic flows in urban planning (smart cities) and to reduce false alarms in building and security systems. The detailed three-dimensional capture of the environment can also help to measure materials such as sugar beets, fertiliser or recycled materials that were previously complex and cost-intensive to quantify.
Blickfeld will use the additional capital to accelerate the development of its LiDAR solutions in autonomous driving and a variety of industrial applications, and to expand its position in key international markets. Today, the number of employees is 130 and is growing rapidly. The company is currently opening regional offices in international markets such as the US and China. The technology is optimised for use in many new applications.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who is responsible for Germany and EFSI, said: “With our venture debt program, we support innovative young companies that need long-term growth capital to fully focus on the further development of their products and their global marketing. The funding of Blickfeld shows the EIB’s strong commitment to supporting innovative early-stage companies to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness.”
European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: "Thanks to this EIB financing, backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, German technology company Blickfeld will be able to scale-up and further develop its innovative 3D light detection and ranging solutions. The funding will support the creation of completely new areas of application, be it in autonomous driving and smart mobility, in the construction industry or in agriculture. Investments such as these not only strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s industry but also contribute to more efficient and sustainable supply chains."
Mathias Müller, founder and CEO of Blickfeld, said: “The EIB’s support is testimony to Blickfeld’s maturity as a company and the confidence that those responsible have in the potential of our LiDAR technology. The capital provided by the EIB is the ideal financial instrument for us to expand even faster. We are convinced that our LiDAR solutions will make a real difference for many industries and we are very pleased that the EIB has recognised an important innovative technology that will strengthen Europe’s position as a key centre of industry and business.”
The European Investment Bank operates in around 160 countries and is the world’s largest multilateral lender for climate action projects. Recently, the EIB Group adopted its Climate Bank Roadmap to achieve its ambitious goals: in the decade to 2030, it intends to mobilise €1 trillion for climate action and environmentally sustainable investments, and by 2025, it plans to provide more than 50% of its financing for climate action and environmental sustainability. In accordance with this roadmap, all new financing provided by the EIB Group has been aligned with the objectives and principles of the Paris Agreement since the start of 2021.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), known as the Juncker Plan, secures the EIB’s investments with EU guarantees and is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. Under EFSI, the EIB and the European Commission work closely to strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s economy. EFSI provides first-loss guarantees that enable the EIB Group to invest in riskier projects. The projects and agreements financed under EFSI have led to investments of €524.3 billion, benefiting more than 1.4 million small and medium sized enterprises.
Blickfeld GmbH was founded in Munich in 2017. It is a provider of 3D LiDAR products and perception software for autonomous vehicles and IoT applications. LiDAR products meet the highest standards in terms of the performance, cost and size required for the mass market. Today’s focus is on software-defined LiDAR technology to make the solutions increasingly powerful and flexible and to bring analysis capability directly to the device. Blickfeld is financially supported by Bayern Kapital, Continental, Fluxunit – ams OSRAM Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds, New Future Capital (NFC), Tengelmann Ventures and UVC Partners.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend €35 million to the Spanish multinational GAM (BME ticker: GALQ), which specialises in turnkey machinery solutions for industry, to make its rental fleet electric and develop more sustainable last-mile solutions for its subsidiary Inquieto. The loan will also be used to digitalise and develop Kirleo, the company’s vocational training school, therefore supporting digital skills development and training at the company. The EIB loan is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. This financing is in line with GAM’s strategic approach based on innovation and sustainability.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) as the long-term lending institution of the European Union, and GomSpace, an innovative Danish space company, has announced a venture debt financing agreement of up to EUR 18 million. The EIB is a key financier of new space technologies in the European Union, including recent combined EUR 45 million financings into “new space” leaders such as Spire Global, D-Orbit and EnduroSat. Now, the EIB is again supporting space “deep tech” with a venture loan to GomSpace, a Danish space company and pioneer in the global market for nano-satellites, platforms, systems, and space missions. The project concerns research and development for an enlarged platform, including streamlined subsystems for their entire product range. For payloads, the focus is on high frequency applications, which are crucial for the telecom sector.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) — in collaboration with Goldman Sachs Bank Europe, Santander and Société Générale — launched Project Venus, their second euro-denominated digitally native bond issue and first using private blockchain technology. The €100 million, two-year bond was issued, recorded and settled using private blockchain-based technology, and represents the inaugural issuance on Goldman Sachs’ tokenisation platform – GS DAPTM.