Moonshot AI’s New Valuation Is $3 billion, With Tencent Joining in

The financing of Moonshot AI, a large-scale company, is still ongoing, and the latest valuation has reached 3 billion US dollars. Informed sources revealed that new entrants include Tencent, Gaorong Ventures and other institutions. This also means that Chinese large-scale startup companies have entered the 20 billion RMB club.

The start of a new round of financing signifies the completion of the previous round. In mid-February this year, Moonshot AI initiated a new round of over one billion US dollars in funding, which can be considered a milestone in the financing history of large-scale model startup companies. At that time, Moonshot AI’s valuation had reached 2.5 billion US dollars. It was later understood that this round of financing initially concluded with 800 million US dollars from investors Alibaba and Capital Today. However, this does not include additional investments from existing shareholders or institutions whose investment processes were not completed due to the Chinese New Year holiday.

It is known that other VC firms such as Source Code Capital, Sky9 Capital, BlueRun Ventures, XiangHe Capital, Xiaohongshu, China Merchants Venture Investment Management Co., Ltd., FunPlus Game Development Company Limited , Andon Health, Shunwei Capital Partners,Five Source Capital,Tencent Holdings Limited and GGV participated in this round of financing.

To some extent, Tencent was an unexpected presence. Previously, Alibaba was already a major shareholder with a 40% stake in Moonshot AI. Choosing one giant often means making another giant hesitate. Compared to Alibaba Cloud and Alibaba, Tencent Cloud is obviously not as important. Not long ago, AI investors also revealed that at the end of last year, after tightening game approvals, Tencent had held a retrospective meeting on “tightening unnecessary investments,” stating that “if new money is invested outside, we must consider whether it can outperform repurchasing Tencent stock.” All these factors make this investment by Tencent appear unusual.

But it is reasonable to say that, after all, among several major companies, Tencent obviously cannot focus on developing its own large models like ByteDance or Baidu. Instead, it hopes to achieve strategic goals through external investments. Even before Moonshot AI, Tencent had already invested in Zhipu AI, Baichuan Intelligence and MiniMax. The technology media The Information suggests that this investment may pave the way for cooperation between WeChat and the chatbots of Moonshot AI.

Some investors believe that Tencent‘s investment in Moonshot AI, particularly the success of voice assistant Kimi, could be a key variable, making Tencent, which has long dominated the social media sector, nervous. After all, Tencent‘s venture capital arm missed out on Zhang Yiming back in the day and now they clearly do not want to repeat history. This sentiment is also reflected in many VC and industry capitals’ mindset: they don’t want to miss out.

An investor from an industry capital told us that within this new wave of enthusiasm sparked by Kimi, Moonshot AI should be one of ‘the few large-scale model companies that are most likely to pass through investment committees,’ because ‘all partners at various institutions may have tried using Kimi.’ The most anxious group looking to invest includes not only some US dollar VCs but also some publicly listed companies, especially those from certain industries.

SEE ALSO: Founder of Moonshot AI Cashed out Tens of Millions of USD

Investors in US dollar funds have told us that recently, new large-scale institutional players have entered the game. These include not only some well-funded US dollar venture capital firms and listed companies, but also some Chinese state-owned enterprises and certain insurance funds. Whether there will be larger follow-up funding afterwards, as well as the commercialization challenges faced by large-scale companies, “sooner or later we will have to face this question, but right now it is still completely shrouded in mystery.”

Large-scale entrepreneurship is probably one of the most conflicting trends in history.

It forms a consensus in the global technology field like a storm, and then quickly differentiates. Represented by Allen Zhu, the realist faction of GSR Ventures has always maintained a relatively pessimistic attitude. For example, he believes that this generation of large-scale startup companies faces a more difficult situation than previous generations such as SenseTime and other AI companies: there is no difference in technology between companies, each generation of technology requires reinvestment, and investment scale increases exponentially; furthermore, without a good business model, each generation’s monetization cycle is only two to three years. After openAI released GPT-4o, Allen Zhu’s new judgment on his friends’ circle was ‘model companies not deeply tied to big factories are basically out.’

Some people are extremely eager to enter while others watch coldly from the sidelines. This is a unique spectacle in China’s wave of large models.