Vayyar Imaging, whose sensors are used in breast cancer detection, robotic arms and on retail shelves, lined up another round of funds from heavy-hitting investors as it seeks to develop its “4D” radar imaging technology. 

The Israeli company raised $109 million from investors including Koch Disruptive Technologies, the investment subsidiary of global conglomerate Koch Industries. Regal Four, Battery Ventures and Bessemer Ventures also funded the round,  which brings Vayyar’s total since its 2011 founding to $188 million. 

“We see incredible potential in combining Vayyar’s innovative technology and principled leadership team with Koch’s global reach and capabilities to create breakthroughs in a wide range of industries,” Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies, said in a statement. Imaging technology “continues to disrupt society,” he said.  

Imaging technology is drawing increased from private equity and venture capital firms who are intrigued by the latest systems’ potential benefits beyond healthcare, its traditional sweet spot. These investment groups spent a record $463 million on companies focusing on 3D imaging services, more than six-fold the total of five years ago, according to PitchBook. 

Vayyar’s early, 3D radar technology focused largely on the healthcare industry, offering an alternative to mammograms in early-stage breast cancer detection. The company is branching into retail, manufacturing, automotive and robotics. 

The company’s newer 4D systems capture movement along with three-dimensional imaging, such as a shopper’s activities in a clothing store. Vayyar said that unlike competitors, its radio frequency-based systems do not compromise people’s privacy because they record general shapes instead of granular details about someone’s appearance. 

Vayyar also claims that as an added benefit its sensors don’t put people’s privacy at risk. Unlike imaging products that rely on cameras and optics, Vayyar uses radio frequency waves to detect objects, the company said in a press release. Creating 3D image with radio waves eliminates granular details that can reveal people’s identities.

Vayyar won’t reveal its customers because of non-disclosure agreements but said that it works with Fortune 500 companies, according to a company post. 

  • The new investment is the second largest deal in the sensor imaging space this year. 
  • Koch Industries, best known for the conservative politics of its founders, is pivoting from traditional manufacturing to tech innovation and sustainability.
  • Another Israel-based company Innoviz Technologies received $170 million in June, the largest investment in 3D imaging this year.