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Spartan Radar quickly raises additional $15M for safe autonomous mobility

Company leverages radar technology compared to its lidar-focused competitors

Spartan Radar uses radar technology to create safer deployment of autonomous vehicles. (Photo: Spartan Radar)

Automotive radar systems solutions provider Spartan Radar announced Wednesday it has closed on a $15 million series A round led by Prime Movers Lab, with its existing investors, 8VC and Mac VC, participating in the round as well.

This raise comes just about two months after the company closed on a $10 million seed round led by Prime Movers Lab, showcasing the immediate need for level 2 autonomous mobility in the transportation market.

“After billions of dollars in investments and several AV companies going public, the industry is finally ready to move beyond R&D to commercialize at scale in defined use-cases like last mile delivery, trucking, and robo-taxi. OEMs and AV developers need safe, robust sensor solutions that are ready to go to market next year and we’re prepared to meet that need,” Spartan Radar founder and CEO Nathan Mintz said in the release.

Funding details:Spartan Radar
Funding amount$15 million
Funding roundSeries A
Lead investorPrime Movers Lab
Secondary investors8VC and Mac VC
Business goals for the roundContinue production of its current radar solutions and recruit top talent to help with scaling efforts
Total funding$25 million

Unlike competitors that have focused their efforts on creating level 4 autonomous technology, Spartan Radar has zeroed in on creating a Level 2 autonomous software that can be commercialized and deployed today, with the ability to scale into customers’ Level 4 needs in the future.

The company has leveraged existing radar technology that is hardware-agnostic, giving Spartan Radar’s technology a high level of compatibility across a number of systems.

Another key differentiating factor is Spartan Radar’s use of radar sensors, using cameras and radar for its vision, compared to light detection and ranging (lidar) technology, which uses beams of infrared lights to measure the distance and size of objects in its path.

In an interview with FreightWaves, Mintz explained that not only do radar sensors allow for faster deployment, they’re arguably safer.

“What’s great about lidar is its extraordinary resolution. The challenge that comes with all of that detail is extraordinary data processing demands,” said Mintz. “The deluge of information can lead to processing delays, false detections and erroneous alarms. All this processing noise is what leads lidar systems to behave like distracted drivers.”

With Spartan Radar’s latest raise, Mintz will continue to build its radar-focused products for both aftermarket and imaging radar markets.

“Spartan is committed to creating commercializable safety solutions today for ADAS L2 + and developing solutions for full autonomy. This makes our approach to innovation scalable and commercializable for both the short and long term,” said Mintz.

To help with this commitment, Spartan Radar recently invested in new executive talent as well, bringing on Robert Brown, former TuSimple senior director of external affairs, in October. In his new role as chief strategy officer, Brown will help the team accelerate commercialization of Spartan Radar’s biomimetic radar technology.

“[Brown] combines a long view of autonomous mobility with the deep industry knowledge needed to commercialize [advanced driver-assistance systems] safety solutions today and AVs in the near future,” said Mintz. “It’s great to get his real-world experience and strategic expertise to help us level up our business messaging and strategy to fuel our growth.”

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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at [email protected]