As far as camera makers go, Leica and Light could not be further apart. Leica has a rich photographic heritage and, at least in the minds of many photographers, stands for beautifully manufactured mechanical devices. Light is a very new company and with its 16-sensor L16 camera is by many regarded as a spearhead of innovation in digital imaging.

Nonetheless - or maybe because of those differences - Leica is now an investor and shareholder in Light. The latter just announced a $121 million Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund. Leica is one of the participants in the round as well, investing an undisclosed amount.

The company confirms that we will see Light-powered smartphones later this year

In the announcement the company confirms that we will see Light-powered smartphones later this year and says it is planning to use the funding to expand in sectors beyond consumer imaging.

“The new funding will allow Light to expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography and into security, robotic, automotive, aerial and industrial imaging applications,”

Leica on the other hand seems to be hoping to get its hands on on some of the computational imaging technologies that Light is developing.

“With the rapid development of the computational photography, partnering with the innovators at Light [allows] Leica to extend its tradition of excellence into the computational photography era.”