Feb 27, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Chinese artificial intelligence chip designer Horizon Robotics has just raised USD 600 million in its latest funding round, the make it one the largest fundraisers in the sector.
The funding round was led by South Korean conglomerate SK, memory chip manufacturer SK Hynix and several other venture capital firms. For the round, the company is said to have been valued at USD 3 billion.
The company which was founded in 2015 by a former Baidu executive is currently in partnership with German luxury automaker Audi and China’s Chongqing Changan to develop self-driving cars and also has businesses in the securities industry and smart retailing.
As China looks to reduce its dependency on foreign semiconductor imports, investments in computer chip designers and manufactures become increasingly important for the country to sustain its AI development.
In June last year, another Chinese AI chip designer Cambricon had also raised hundreds of million of dollars in its series B round which valued the company at USD 2.5 billion. Furthermore, the nation’s tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba are also now in the race to develop their first AI chips following a call by President Xi Jinping for the nations to achieve self-sufficiency in this regard.
Worldwide, AI chip sales are expected to rise 52 per cent annually from USD 4.27 billion in 2018 to USD 34.3 billion in 2023.
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