Leishen Lidar (镭神智能), a Shenzhen-headquartered lidar maker, has closed a Series D financing round valued at hundreds of millions of yuan, Chinese media reported today.
The fundraiser was invested jointly by Jinan Tongxin Weilai Venture Fund and Chongqing Nanbu Equity Fund.
Proceeds from this round will be spent on the R&D of homegrown lidar technologies to substitute imports.
What’s more, the funds will also go towards the development of Leishen Lidar’s self-built 3D SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) unmanned forklift, and construction of the production facilities for its 1550nm fiber laser lidar and 3D SLAM forklifts.
Leishen Lidar has set up wholly owned subsidiaries in Shandong and Chongqing, two localities where its new financial backers are based.
The company is looking to build an automated factory and production base in these two areas, with the facility in Shandong measuring 12,000 sqm, and the one in Chongqing sitting on 5,000 sqm of land.
These two plants will be tasked with manufacturing auto-grade 1550nm TOF fiber laser lidar and 3D SLAM forklifts, with an expected annual output of 1 million lidars and 10,000 forklifts.
These two factories, once operational, will likely lead an industrial shift toward a mode of automated production characterized by low cost, high quality and enhanced efficiency, the company stated.
After three years of development (2017-2020), Leishen Lidar began to integrate its mature lidar-empowered 3D SLAM technologies with forklifts in 2020.
Each of its unmanned forklifts come with seven to eight proprietary lidars and other types of sensors to enable positioning and navigation.
The emergence of Leishen’s autonomous forklifts is said to have addressed three major pain points confronting such devices, including high upfront cost, complicated deployment and propensity to breakdown and disrepair.
Compared to traditional forklifts, Leishen’s innovations not just relieve a labor shortage, but also broaden their application scenarios.
These 3D SLAM forklifts have so far served 150-plus industrial clients spanning fields from factory and warehouse logistics to harbor automation, making Leishen a pioneer in 3D SLAM forklift technologies and applications.