Tencent-backed Chinese AI startup Enflame raises nearly $100m Series B funding

Photo by Jordan Harrison on Unsplash

Chinese AI cloud computing platform Enflame Technology announced on Thursday the completion of a 700 million yuan ($99 million) Series B funding round led by investment firm SummitView Capital.

Shanghai Innovative Capital (SHIVC), an investment platform backed by the Shanghai government; Hong Kong-based investment management firm Oceanpine Capital; China’s Delta Capital; Redpoint China Ventures, the local arm of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Redpoint Ventures; and other investors participated in the round.

Chinese social and gaming giant Tencent Holdings, which first invested in Enflame’s pre-Series A round in July 2018, also topped up in the latest round. 

“Since the inception of the firm, we have understood that commercialization is of equivalent importance to product development. An enterprise will have the vitality for sustainable development only after it realizes profitability with the application and commercialization of its products,” said Zhao Lidong, co-founder and CEO of Enflame, in a statement.

Founded in March 2018, Enflame focuses on the development of AI training platform solutions for cloud service providers and data centres. Its offerings can be adopted in cloud data centres, supercomputing centres, and AI-enabled fields of finance, government administration, and smart cities.

The company introduced its first product, CloudBlazer T10, in December 2019. The product is an AI accelerator that uses a self-developed Deep Thinking Unit (DTU) to deliver fast, power-efficient data processing for cloud-based AI training platforms.

Zhao said that Enflame seeks to be a reliable supplier of AI cloud computing solutions in China to help the country reduce its reliance on tech imports.

Proceeds of the Series B round will be used to scale up the business and to promote mass production of its products. The startup also plans to expand its tech support team and increase investment into the development of its second-generation cloud-based AI training and inference products, according to the statement.

Enflame raised 300 million yuan ($42 million) in a Series A round led by Redpoint China Ventures in June 2019. Other investors in the previous round included Tencent, Oceanpine Capital, ChinaEquity Group (CEG), as well as Chinese private equity funds Riverhead Capital Investment Management (RHC) and Yun He Capital.

In July 2018, the company completed a pre-Series A round of 340 million yuan ($48 million). The round was led by Tencent, with participation from SummitView’s Ehe Capital, Beijing-based angel fund ZhenFund, and Yun He Capital, among others.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.