LatePost reported on Wednesday that Tencent has recently invested hundreds of millions of yuan in a new round of financing for Jaguar Micro, a data processing unit (DPU) startup. Other investors include Temasek, Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd., Yicun Capital (an investment platform under Huaxi Holding), CMBC Capital (a listed financial holding platform of China Minsheng Bank), and Glory Ventures. Jaguar Micro has a post-investment valuation of about 9 billion yuan ($1.34 billion).
This is Tencent‘s third investment in the DPU firm, which has been established for less than two years. Tencent currently holds 26.31% of shares in Jaguar Micro and is its largest external shareholder. Tencent holds no more than 20% of the shares in the invested enterprises.
Jaguar Micro was founded in late 2020 by experienced entrepreneur Sunny Siu, former Managing Director of Greater China for Broadcom’s Processors and Wireless Infrastructure Business Unit. In 2002, he founded RMI in the Silicon Valley, whose chips were applied to network communication equipment such as routers and base stations. In 2009, RMI was acquired by NetLogic, a US-listed company, and two years later, NetLogic was acquired by Broadcom for $3.7 billion. Siu then joined Broadcom and established Jaguar in 2020.
The core members of Jaguar hail from previous stints at Broadcom, Intel, HiSilicon and Arm, and the team currently has nearly 400 people. Jaguar’s first DPU system-on-a-chip (SoC) is under development and is scheduled for mass production next year.
Since 2020, China has seen the birth of a number of DPU companies, such as Jaguar Micro, Yunmai Xinlian, Smart & Connection, Dayu DPU and YUSUR, while some previously established companies, such as Corigine, have turned to the DPU field in the past two years.
In addition to DPUs, Tencent participated in 2 billion yuan ($298.187 million) round-A financing for GPU startup Moore Thread at the end of last year. Previously, Tencent also invested in four consecutive rounds of financing for AI chip company Enflame Technology, in which it currently holds 20.5% of shares. Its products also include large chips that serve data centers in the cloud.