China’s Horizon Robotics Becomes the World’s Highest Valued AI Chip Unicorn

Chinese Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipmaker Horizon Robotics announced a massive $600 million funding in its Series B financing round, setting a new record of funding in the AI chip making industry.

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Led by South Korean conglomerate SK, semiconductor supplier SK Hynix, and several top-tier automobile manufacturers and their capital funds, the latest round pushes the valuation of the Beijing-based startup to $3 billion.

Other strategic partners and investors in the round include Oceanwide Capital, CMBC Capital, Citic Securities’ One-Belt-One-Road (CSOBOR) Fund, and Oceanpine Capital. Existing shareholders such as Morningside Venture Capital, Hillhouse Capital, V Fund Management and Linear Venture also participated.

Horizon Robotics

Founded in 2015 by Dr. Yu Kai, former Director of Baidu Deep Learning Research Institute, Horizon Robotics received more than $100 million in its A+round led by chip giant Intel in 2017. Now with the investment from SK Hynix, the three-year-old startup has two of the world’s top three semiconductor companies as its major shareholders.

“Horizon Robotics has devoted itself to becoming the leader in edge AI processors and computing platforms – enabling autonomous driving, smart cities, smart robotics and other AIoT devices “On the Horizon” – powering AI to make everyone’s life safer and better,” said Dr. Yu.

Horizon Robotics has established partnerships with the world’s top OEMs and Tier1s in the U.S., Germany, Japan and China – the four largest auto markets – to develop self driving technology.

Journey and Sunrise series of edge AI vision processors, launched last year, have been widely used in areas including intelligent driving and AIoT edge computing.

Featured photo credit to Flipboard