Canaan Partners led the $20.4 million funding round of Israeli startup Prime Sense Inc. Gemini Israel Funds and Genesis Partners, prior investors in PrimeSense, also participated in this second round. I first wrote about PrimeSense on VC Cafe when they presented at CES this January.
PrimeSense is in fact a gaming company, creating technology that enables consumer electronic devices understand the world in 3D, the way humans do. PrimeSense’s patented technology enables some really cool applications, inspired by the success of the Nintendo Wii and the iPod. For example:
* Gaming – Similar to 3DV Systems, PrimeSense removes the need for a joystick to play video games in front of the TV. Imagine a the next generation Wii game, where the player’s body IS the joystick: kicking, shooting fireballs and using hand movements to cast a spell on their opponent.
* Consumer Electronics– PrimeSense brings 3D to digital devices, removing the need for a mouse or a keyboard through touch-screen menu interaction.
* Video Communication – virtual drawing boards, background replacement and more.
The company is led by president Aviad Maizels, CTO Alexander Shpunt, Ophir Sharon, Tamir Berliner and CEO Inon Bracha, who was the former CEO of the DSP Group. In a comment to Globes Bracha said:
Prime Sense was founded in 2005 by a team of entrepreneurs who are self-proclaimed gamers who were looking to improve the user experience and make gaming controls more intuitive.
Bracha added to TheMarker that PrimeSense has tough competition out there including Israel’s 3DV Systems, who is fighting for the same turf developing gaming applications and Canasta Inc, who patented a virtual input device such as an image of a keyboard.
To date, the company has raised $29.4 million, last round of $9 million was raised in August 2006. Recently,PrimeSense has reached a big agreement with a consumer elecronics manufacturer, and several applications are scheduled to come out in the near future.
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