Announcing Red Leader’s $10M Series A to Deliver Next-Gen 3D Vision

Published on
May 27, 2022

We are thrilled to announce Red Leader’s $10M Series A round led by NextView Ventures and Micron Ventures in addition to our previously unannounced $3M Seed round with the Hustle Fund, Refactor Capital, Shanda Group, and Contrary Capital.

For the past 4 years, Red Leader has moved in the shadows as a stealth company inventing major breakthroughs in computational 3D imaging. We’re incredibly proud to showcase our latest demos that demonstrate the power of software and signal processing enabling unparalleled performance improvements and reduction in hardware complexity and cost.

At Red Leader, we believe in the power of software-driven hardware. Through powerful signal processing algorithms and reimagined hardware architectures, we’re building towards a future where 3D data is accessible anywhere, anytime.

Why 3D Data?

3D sensors play a key role in unlocking the next billion devices that will come online. These are devices that must operate seamlessly alongside humans, from keeping people safe in self-driving vehicles to moving millions of goods between warehouses, factories, businesses, and homes daily. With direct access to true 3D data anywhere regardless of weather, time of day, or environment, we can build trust in spaces where reliance on passive, 2D imaging and even the best machine learning in the world just isn’t good enough. Especially in safety-critical environments, we enable a complete understanding of the surrounding space quickly and efficiently, saving both time and money needed to get up and running. These are huge wins for our customers in robotics, autonomy, industrial automation, and even the metaverse who will have access to incredible 3D data that provides seamless integration and software tunability.

Red Leader home office
Our first "office" - work from home before it was cool, 2018 summer

We started Red Leader back in 2018 in a dorm room at Stanford driven by a single question: if signal processing has revolutionized every other sensing communications paradigm from 5G cellular, GPS, fiber internet, to cameras, where was it in 3D sensing? Current lidars today are closer to laser stop watches than to laser cameras. We realized that people wanted to combine those techniques, but the math wasn’t ready yet. So Red Leader set out to invent the signal processing techniques that combined image signal processing and communications. After 4 years of stealth mode development, we created a lattice of breakthrough ideas centered around 3 core ideas:

#1 Parallelized algorithms that enable up to 30x the data throughput

#2 Laser pixel transmission that is parallelized in both time and space

#3 Software control over hardware parameters like exposure and noise balance, and access to raw data waveforms*

* (perhaps not coincidentally, this is what enables iPhone cameras to optimize filters like portrait mode, landscape vs macro mode, etc. all in software)

Working with our early partners, we’ve demonstrated how our real-time 3D data can protect warehouse workers from serious or even fatal injuries, accelerate dedicated automation that free factory staffers from error-prone processes, and see tiny details that robots need awareness of to operate safely and smoothly.

Testing in a hangar
Testing field day at an airplane hangar

We're Just Getting Started!

We’ve come a long way since our first tiny demo built in a dorm room with parts bought off Amazon. We are so excited with the close of this new round of funding to be able to start shipping hardware and software to customers who have been eager to integrate Red Leader’s technology into robotic vehicles, warehouses, and devices of all shapes and sizes. Over the next year, we’ll begin pilot programs and gear up to launch hardware in partnership with some of the world’s largest manufacturers while expanding our software platform with core processing functions and templates that will make 3D data incredibly powerful and simple to use.

We are immensely thankful to our supporters - our team, our advisors and investors, our early partners - you all took a risk to believe in something incredible. We know genuine innovation is never without risk, and while that may scare away some, we see that as a real opportunity to deliver meaningful and lasting value that can save lives, improve jobs, and bring dreams to life. We have so much we can’t wait to share with all of you.

The world’s need for 3D data is just beginning. We can’t wait to build alongside some of the most innovative companies that will define the next decade of robotics and automation. We’re selling complete 3D sensing packages, but also working directly with system integrators and manufacturers. If you’re working on projects that use or could benefit from 3D vision, but have suffered from a myriad of issues with performance, price, or production, we would love to chat and see how Red Leader can help, and if you believe in the work we’re doing and want to take part in building this game-changing future, we invite you to join our team!

Cheers to a bright future ahead!

Jake & Rebecca