American AI company receives $12m investment and hires Google exec

American AI-powered Augmented Reality navigation company Phiar Technologies has announced the close of a new $12 million (£8.75 million) Series A funding round and the hiring of new CEO Gene Karshenboym, formerly Google’s Global Head of Android Automotive Platforms.

The new fund was led by State Farm Ventures that includes new investors Cambridge Mobile Telematics and Telenav, and previous investors Norwest Venture Partners, The Venture Reality Fund, and GFR Fund. The company says the funding will further accelerate Phiar’s business with vehicle manufacturers and Tier-1 partners in the automotive industry.
 
Additionally, founder Chen-Ping Yu will shift roles to Chairman of the Board and CTO to focus on leading spacial-AI technology and product development as Karshenboym onboards to lead the future global growth of the company. Gene Karshenboym brings nearly 10 years in developing partnerships and technology in the Android and automotive industry and has served on Phiar’s board of directors since 2020.
 
Phiar says it is bringing perception and intelligence to automotive navigation. Through its advanced and lightweight Spatial-AI Engine and Mobility AR Engine, it enables vehicles to understand the environment better in real-time for intelligent navigation, smart parking, HD mapping, vision-based live road detections, traffic conditions and more. Phiar is utilising modern automotive chipsets including Qualcomm Snapdragon, and is working closely with major automotive OEMs such as Nissan; global tier-1 suppliers including Panasonic Automotive and Bosch, leading maps and navigation vendors such as TomTom and HERE.
 
Karshenboym said, “It is truly impressive the success and growth that Chen-Ping and the Phiar team have already achieved by developing intelligent AR navigation solutions with their lightweight spatial-AI technologies, that will bring drivers and passengers a driving experience like never before. As the global automotive industry is on the cusp of a major shift to AI-based technology integration, it’s an exciting time to be joining Phiar and I look forward to building long-term strategic relationships for the company and with partners.”
 
Yu added, “Our mission is to enable human-like perception for every vehicle, revolutionising navigation interaction and how we experience the world. First, focusing on the automotive industry. Gene’s addition to our leadership team, bringing his track record of successful partnerships in the automotive industry, and our new injection of funding will enable us to further develop and differentiate our AI engine and camera-based AR technology, expand our integrations across OEMs and our partnerships with Tier-1 companies, and build our go-to-market resources for key markets.”

(Picture – Phiar Technologies)

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