Biz / Tech

Horizon Robotics raises US$600 million

Zhu Shenshen
The company's latest financing further underscores the fact that artificial intelligence is one of the hottest investment sectors in China.
Zhu Shenshen

Horizon Robotics announced on Wednesday it had raised US$600 million in its latest round of financing, further highlighting artificial intelligence as one of the hottest investment sectors in China.

Horizon, whose AI chip and services are used in the automotive, smart home and urban management sectors, is valued US$3 billion after the latest round of financing.

The investment was jointly led by SK China, SK Hynix and several top automotive groups and their investment vehicles.

Other strategic partners and investors included China Oceanwide Capital, CMBC Capital, CLSA’s CSOBOR Fund and Oceanpine Capital.

The latest Series B financing followed the more than US$100 million Series A financing in 2017, Horizon said in a statement.

Horizon’s technologies are used in autonomous driving and the Internet of Things, covering processors, chips and related devices.

Its customers and partners include Audi, Bosch, Chang’an, BYD, SAIC Motor and Guangzhou Automobile Group.

And its technology is also used in Xiaomi Corp's AI smart speaker.

Under a blueprint drafted by the State Council, China’s cabinet, the value of the nation’s core AI industries is expected to exceed 150 billion yuan (US$22.46 billion) by 2020 and 400 billion yuan by 2025.

As part of  this national strategy, China’s top dot-com firms — including Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu — and venture capital firms have announced their own AI strategies and investment.

Dozens of AI Unicorns — private firms valued at US$1 billion — have cropped up in China in recent years.

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