MobilEye Drives Forward with $15M

Netherlands-based MobilEye raised a $15 million Series D round in late December, making it the last funding for a fabless semiconductor startup in 2003.

As reported last week in PE Week, venture investors interested in chips pushed the fourth quarter to a record close for the year, allocating over $480 million into nearly 40 fabless semiconductor startups.

Throughout the year, investors pumped about $1.7 billion into fabless companies, compared to $1.6 billion the year before.

MobilEye builds semiconductor systems on a chip for the automotive industry. Mobileye’s chips will be used in automobiles as early as the 2005 model year. Intended applications include cruise control, lane departure warnings, pre-crash detection and pedestrian protection.

Mobil Eye, while based overseas, also operates offices in its key markets of Detroit and Tokyo, and is largely operating out of Israel, where its founders and development team reside.

Investors in the Series D include: Dalek Motors, Eldan (the largest rental car group in Israel), Colmobil Group, FIBI Holdings, Solid Investment Bank, and several individual investors. The new round gives the firm a post-investment valuation of $195 million, with the total venture funds raised to date of $45 million.

Motorola, a leader in electronics for the automotive industry and previously an investor in MobilEye, did not participate in the latest round.

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