Sunday, August 25, 2019

LiDAR Startup Oryx Vision Shuts Down

CTech: Israeli LiDAR startup Oryx Vision shuts down. Over the past 3 years, the company has raised $67M and now is in a process of returning the remaining $40M to its investors.

The field has changed immensely since the company started its operations, and all the players in the field of LiDAR now understand that autonomous vehicles will take more time to become mainstream than was originally thought, Oryx CEO Rani Wellingstein says, “Currently, the architecture of the autonomous vehicle is simply not converging, so a venture-backed company will not be able to justify the investment that will still be needed."

The company founders VP R&D David Ben-Bassat and CEO Rani Wellingstein tried to sell Oryx, but were not successful. "There was a lot of deliberation and investors were prepared to keep going, but we saw that LIDAR was becoming a game of giants and as a small company, it would be difficult to continue operating and return investments."

Update: A 2016 LinkedIn presentation talks about Oryx technology:

AutoSens published a short company video about a year ago:

Update #2: Globes reports about a disagreement between the Oryx founders:

Over the past year, Wellingstein advocated shutting down Oryx in opposition to Ben-Bassat, because he believed that there was no point in continuing to operate in a market experiencing a slowdown. Ben-Bassat believed that the company could continue operating on a leaner format and keep the investors from losing money on their investment, but now realizes that it will take longer than he originally thought. "The diagnosis is correct. The market is behind schedule and shrinking. The situation now is not the same as it was in 2016, and I really think that there was hype here. There was a bubble, and it hasn't finished deflating. We're barely a third of the way there," Ben-Bassat added.

"I left the company three months ago because of material disagreements with Ran. I was not a party to the decision to close the company down," Ben-Bassat told "Globes." "I believed, and still believe, that there is an opportunity for other options for the company." No comment was available from Wellingstein.


  1. Is it me, or does this simply not make any sense? They raise $67M, have $40M left in the bank, investors were prepared to keep going, but they decide to close shop because the automobile market is not converging?

    The way the technology is described, it sounds like the detector is a rectenna. Anyone remember Phiar Corporation:

    I don't doubt that the technology is hard, and 10 um (30 THz) lasers are perhaps even more difficult (quantum cascade lasers?), but if the technology worked, then there would seem to be a lot of opportunities.

    1. It is very hard to make QCW high power quantum cascade lasers at 10µm ... Anyway this is a very interesting news, maybe a turning point in the (too?) high investments and raises made in the LIDAR techs?

  2. This is really pity - the technology is radically different from other LiDAR architectures and they have been working on this since 2009. At the same time, it is good that the founders are being honest with investors' money and not burning it like other peers.


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