Chinese Laser Chip Developer Vertilite Secures Fresh Funding

Several top lidar enterprises including RoboSense and Hesai Technology have recently invested in Vertilite, a laser chip manufacturer based in China. Shenzhen-based EV giant BYD has also made investment in the company.

Established in 2015, Vertilite has become deeply involved in the field of vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) chips over the course of many years. It provides R&D, manufacturing and services of VCSEL chips, modules and epitaxial wafers. Its core products are VCSEL chips for 3D sensing and high-power VCSEL chip solutions for lidar.

Since its establishment, Vertilite has secured funding from a range of leading investment institutions. In 2020, it received separate investments from Hubble and Xiaomi, totaling more than 100 million yuan ($14.81 million). In September 2021, it received several hundred million yuan in a financing round led by SummitView Capital and followed by BYD, CPE, Gaorong Capital, Yicun Capital and Glory Ventures.

Vertilite has shipped more than 50 million chips so far. VCSEL chips are the core devices of 3D imaging and sensing systems. According to Yole’s forecast, the global VCSEL market is expected to reach $2.4 billion by 2026, among which the consumer electronics market is the largest and the automotive lidar market is the fastest-growing one.

In the field of consumer electronics, Vertilite’s products are widely used in smartphones. Its products accounted for the vast majority of the Android smartphone VCSEL market in 2021.

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Since the beginning of this year, Vertilite has spent its efforts in the vacuum cleaner market. At present, it has won the bid for many domestic leading providers, and is expected to ship millions of VCSEL modules in the next three years. Vertilite has also gradually expanded into European and American markets. It is expected to start large-scale shipments to European and American AR/VR firms in 2024.

In addition, Vertilite has entered the UAV VCSEL market, and it is estimated that tens of millions of chips and modules will be shipped in the next five years.