According to Chinese media Jiemian, Baichuan Intelligent Technology has completed its Series A1 strategic financing round, raising over 300 million US dollars. Tech giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, and several top investment institutions have all participated in this round of financing.
Following the A1 round, with an angel investment of 50 million US dollars, Baichuan Intelligent Technology has acquired 350 million US dollars in total. A source close to the company said that the valuation of Baichuan has exceeded 1 billion US dollars, officially joining the ranks of technology unicorns and setting a record for the fastest rise to unicorn among domestic large-scale start-ups.
Previous reports from domestic media wrote that Xiaomi‘s founder Lei Jun had played a key role in the recent rounds of financing for Baichuan Intelligent Technology. Through Xiaomi Group and Shunwei Capital, he invested in Baichuan during the A1 round, with a pre-investment valuation of hundreds of millions of dollars and a financing amount exceeding hundreds of millions yuan. In addition to Xiaomi and Shunwei, other publicly disclosed investors in Baichuan’s A1 round include Tencent Investment, Tsinghua Holdings, Tomorrow Advancing Life (TAL) Ventures, and Shenzhen Capital Group. At the moment, Baichuan Intelligent Technology is reportedly undergoing its A3 round of financing. Market rumors also indicate that Shunwei and Xiaomi are once again making significant investments with a financing amount estimated at tens of millions of dollars.
Baichuan Intelligent Technology was founded by Sogou’s CEO Wang Xiaochuan in April, 2023, with an aim to create a Chinese version of OpenAI’s foundational large-scale model and disruptive upper-layer applications. The core team consists of artificial intelligence experts from Wang Xiaochuan’s former colleagues at Sogou, as well as top technology companies such as Google, Tencent, Baidu, ByteDance, and Microsoft. Currently, the team has more than 170 members, with over 80% being research and development personnel.
Since its founding, Baichuan Intelligent Technology has successively released the baichuan-7B with 7 billion parameters, the baichuan-13B with 13 billion parameters, and the large-scale model baichuan-53B with 53 billion parameters. This company, which was founded only half a year ago, releases a new large-scale model on average every 28 days.
From the overall valuation of generative AI startups, most unicorns valued at over 1 billion US dollars in the United States, whereas in China, everything is just getting started, with Wang Xiaochuan and several other language model companies affiliated with Tsinghua University currently having high valuations. In terms of financing layout, investment in generative AI is mostly focused on the B-end.
As one of the first large-scale model enterprises to be officially filed in China, Baichuan Intelligent Technology entered the To-B field and started its commercialization process on September 25th, by opening Baichuan2-53B API (Application Programming Interface).