Startup Seeva Raises $2M With Help of Bezos-Backed Fund

Visibility systems specialist Seeva announced it has raised $2 million in seed funding to grow the company’s team and continue developing its products to help autonomous vehicles perform better on the road.

The funds included investment from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest (ROTR) Seed Fund, a $150 million fund backed by high-profile investors such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The seed round also included support from Dynamo VC, Expansion VC, Haystack VC and Trucks VC, which funds entrepreneurs building the future of transportation.

Seeva designs visibility systems for mobility, and its first proprietary product, SEEVAtherm, is designed to clean windshields, cameras, Lidar and other sensors to help vehicles see more safely and reliably.

Fluid can be directed anywhere on the vehicle to clear the visibility ecosystem, as well as other autonomous vehicle (AV) and advanced driver assistance (ADAS) hardware.

Founded in 2016, Seeva is a graduate of the Techstars Mobility program and is jointly headquartered in Seattle and Detroit.

“When Jere Lansinger, my co-founder and dad, retired from Chrysler after forty years as an automotive engineer, he took with him an approved list of projects he continued to tinker with into retirement,” Diane Lansinger, co-founder and CEO of Seeva, said in a statement. “This is how Seeva started.”

Realizing the visibility problems facing autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems, Lanhesigner created a washer fluid heating product that cleans and helps these vehicles see more safely and reliably.

The company’s first market-ready product, called QwikTherm, is a mechanical only system that rapidly heats up washer fluid.

The company’s website explains that when the elder Lansigner found out in 2016 that two major automotive companies wanted to buy his patented washer fluid heating system, he called his daughter Diane for help launching it on the business side and developing a company around his IP portfolio of “visibility for mobility” innovations.

“At Seeva, we’re creating a trustworthy family of innovative, patent-protected products that are going to build driver and rider confidence in self-driving cars by making the hardware and software in these autonomous vehicles see the road more clearly,” she continued.

As more and more cars become equipped with cameras and sensors, these systems will be essential in the development of the autonomous vehicle, and so will sensor cleaning — to provide a good visibility in all conditions and for an infallible security, sensors must be perfectly clean.

Seeva is not the only company working in this sector. Valeo, an automotive supplier, has also proposed a full range of systems for washing optical sensors.

The company’s Visibility Systems Business Group, made up of two product groups — wiper systems and lighting systems — designs and produces technologies to ensure the best possible visibility and safety for drivers in all weather conditions, both day and night.

The wiper systems product group develops technologies that clean windshields, rear windows and optical sensors to offer drivers and autonomous cars improved visibility.

These solutions are designed not only for increased comfort and safety, but also reduced weight, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

German automotive parts supplier Continental has also developed cleaning systems for on-board sensors such as video cameras, radars and Lidars to keep autonomous vehicles operating safely.

— Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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