Korean conglomerate SK leads $600M spherical for Chinese language chipmaker Horizon Robotics

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Horizon Robotics, a three-year-old Chinese language startup backed by Intel Capital, simply raised a mega-round of fundings from home and abroad backers because it competes for international supremacy in creating AI options and chips aimed toward autonomous autos, good retail shops, surveillance tools and different units for on a regular basis situations.

The Beijing-based firm introduced Wednesday in an announcement that it’s hauled in $600 million in a Collection B funding spherical led by SK China, the China subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate SK Group; SK Hynix, SK’s semiconductor unit; and quite a lot of undisclosed Chinese language automakers together with their funds.

The recent capital drove Horizon’s valuation to a minimum of $three billion, the corporate claims. The Monetary Occasions beforehand reported that the chipmaker was elevating as much as $1 billion in a funding spherical that might worth it at as a lot as $four billion. Such a price ticket may maybe be justified by the huge quantity of sources China has poured into the red-hot sector as a part of a nationwide push to shed dependency on imported chips and work in the direction of what analysts name “semiconductor sovereignty.”

Horizon didn’t specify how the proceeds will likely be used. The corporate couldn’t be instantly reached for feedback.

In 2015, Yu Kai left Baidu because the Chinese language search engine large’s deep studying government and based Horizon to make the “brains” for a broad spectrum of related units. In doing so Yu primarily set himself up for a race towards trade veterans like Intel and Nvidia. Up to now, the startup has managed to make a dent by securing authorities contracts, which offer a secure supply of earnings for China’s AI upstarts together with SenseTime, and several other big-name shoppers like SK’s telecommunication unit, which is already leveraging Horizon’s algorithms to develop good retail options. Like a lot of its friends who’re on the forefront of the AI race, Horizon has arrange an workplace in Silicon Valley and hiring native abilities for its lab.

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Different traders who joined the spherical included a number of of Horizon’s returning traders similar to Hillhouse Capital and Morningside Enterprise Capital . There have been additionally some heavyweight new backers, similar to a fund run by conglomerate China Oceanwide Holdings in addition to the CSOBOR Fund, a non-public fairness entity arrange by China’s state-owned CITIC to again tasks pertaining to China’s formidable “One Belt, One Highway” fashionable Silk Highway initiative.


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