30 October 2023, Europe VoxelSensors Secures €5 Million Seed Investment to Redefine XR with Breakthrough Spatial Computing Technology VoxelSensors, a deep-tech semiconductor company founded in Brussels in 2020, has secured a significant €5 million seed investment to further develop its groundbreaking technology, the "Single Photon Active Event Sensor" (SPAES), aimed at revolutionizing 3D perception for Extended Reality (XR). The investment was led by prominent Belgian venture capital firms Capricorn Partners and Qbic, with the participation of finance&invest.brussels. The following interview provides insights into the company and its partnership with these investors. Image: Johannes Peeters, CEO at VoxelSensors Q: What kind of business do you run? Voxel: VoxelSensors focuses on developing an innovative ultra-low power and ultra-low latency 3D perception technology for Spatial Computing in Extended Reality (XR). from semiconductor to software. The company was founded in response to the energy inefficiency and noticeable delays in existing XR technologies. VoxelSensors aims to enable "the sense of presence" and "superpowers" in XR by offering Spatial Computing building blocks operating at unmatched power efficiency and low latency. Their solution holds great promise for creating sleek and immersive augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) devices. Q: What challenges were you facing, and what motivated you to solve them? What was at stake? Voxel: VoxelSensors' founders, with over 50 years of collective experience in the technology domain, identified the limitations and challenges in XR. Their mission is to address these challenges and make Spatial Computing accessible to a global consumer audience. Low power and low latency are some of the toughest challenges to resolve to enable mass market adoption. The COVID-19 pandemic presented its own set of challenges, as the company was created the evening before the first lockdown and had to build a team entirely remotely. Developing semiconductors is a complex task, requiring deep technical knowledge, significant funding, and patience to realize revenue generation. However, the founders were determined to overcome these challenges. Q: How and where did you meet? Voxel: The core team has known each other since 2008, and their journey in the technology domain began during their university studies. They founded the VUB 3D sensing spinoff (Optrima) and later merged it with the Brussels software company SoftKinetic in 2010. The team played essential roles in the acquisition of SoftKinetic by Sony in 2015. After leaving Sony and having wandered off in different areas, in early 2020, the founders embarked on a new venture, armed with novel technology for making Spatial Computing mainstream. Image: Growth at VoxelSensors Q (to Voxel): What attracted you to the funds? Voxel: Capricorn Partners and Qbic, both leading Belgian venture capital firms, share a strong interest in VoxelSensors' story. They understand the dynamics of the semiconductor and hardware development industry, which is known for its need for time and capital investment. These funds are ambitious and patient, aligning well with VoxelSensors' vision. Q(Capricorn Partners & Qbic): What attracted you to invest in them? Capricorn: Capricorn Partners was drawn to VoxelSensors due to the experience and flexibility of their 3D perception solution, along with their solid intellectual property base. The team's proven track record of building a scalable business model within the European semiconductor value chain was instrumental in the investment decision. Capricorn Partners also appreciated the support of the Brussels region via Innoviris. Qbic: Qbic decided to support VoxelSensors in an early stage of their journey, based on their track record and ability to deliver on their promises. The team's credentials and expertise in the technology space, including their previous success with a Vrije Universiteit Brussels spinoff, made them a compelling choice for investment. Q: Why did you choose to trust a Tech Tour Community member over the competition? What did they have that no one else on the market could offer? What was the size of the investment? Voxel: The decision to invest in a startup isn't made overnight, and Tech Tour provided a valuable platform for showcasing the company's progress to a wide audience of investors. Capricorn Partners and Qbic share common goals with VoxelSensors, particularly the ambition to build a deep tech company in Europe, understanding the importance of a strong technical and financial foundation, and acknowledging the time it takes to develop such a story. The combined investment from Capricorn Partners and Qbic was €4 million in seed funding. Q: How do you see to grow your cooperation in the future? How do you see your company making a difference in the future? Voxel: VoxelSensors is committed to addressing power consumption and latency challenges in Spatial Computing. Their technology is applicable across various domains, including AR and MR devices, smartphones, industrial automation, drones, and automotive applications. VoxelSensors plans to foster deeper collaboration with their network, maximizing their combined expertise and resources. Their goal is to lead the market by nurturing an innovative culture, driving sustainable growth, and reshaping industry standards. They envision a future marked by novel solutions and unparalleled market leadership, enabling advancements in areas such as industrial automation, robotics, education, healthcare, and autonomous vehicles. Q: How have you benefitted from the Tech Tour events and activities? Voxel: Tech Tour has provided a platform to inform multiple venture capitalists and institutional investors about VoxelSensors, its objectives, and its progress. Following Tech Tour events, the company was able to continue engaging directly with multiple relevant VCs. Q: What do you consider the best asset of the Tech Tour programmes? Voxel: The best asset of Tech Tour programs, from their perspective, is the accessibility to the investor community and the ease of approaching people involved in the events. The company has participated in TechTour events before, and they find it beneficial for networking and presenting their story. Image: Andromeda from VoxelSensors Q: From your point of view: How do you see the future, and how will VoxelSensors and the Single Photon Active Event Sensor impact the sector? Voxel: In the eyes of VoxelSensors, the future is promising as the XR and AR industry continues to grow rapidly. The success of XR devices depends on delivering awe-inspiring experiences efficiently and seamlessly, both indoors and outdoors. VoxelSensors' Single Photon Active Event Sensor (SPAES) is positioned as a pioneering solution that offers real-time scalability and energy efficiency, reducing latency and driving the growth of the market. They see their technology impacting not only AR and MR but also various domains like industrial automation, robotics, education, healthcare, and autonomous vehicles, contributing to the accelerated growth of the XR sector. If you want to meet more inspiring companies like VoxelSensors, join us at Tech Tour Photonics on 8th November in Eindhoven.