Chinese AI chip designer Horizon Robotics bags $400m in Series C2 round

Horizon Robotics

Beijing-based AI chip startup Horizon Robotics announced on Thursday that it has secured $400 million in a Series C2 round, or the second tranche of its Series C round.

The funding was co-led by the UK-based investment management firm Baillie Gifford; YF Capital, a PE firm co-founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma in 2010; CITIC Group’s alternative asset manager CITIC Private Equity Funds Management (CPE); and Chinese lithium-ion batteries designer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). 

It also attracted an array of prominent investors including the Japanese financial services provider Orix Group, global hedge fund CloudAlpha Tech Fund, Neumann Advisors, Chinese state-backed Shandong Hi-Speed Group’s investment arm SDHS Capital, Aspex, Hong Kong-based asset manager Hermitage Capital, China Securities, and Yuantai Changqing Fund. 

Horizon will use the fresh funds to expedite its autonomous vehicle oriented chips research and commercialisation. 

The company, a Chinese rival to the US-based Nvidia, has been focused on creating intelligent AI chips for smart mobility, surveillance cameras, and other smart devices. Set up in 2015, the designer has leveraged AI technologies delivering new generation solutions comprising autonomous driving, in-cabin comfort and safety, and delivery robots.

The latest funding has brought the total funds raised in its Series C round to $550 million, the startup said in a WeChat post. In December last year, Horizon was in the market seeking over $700 million for its Series C round.

The first tranche, or Series C1 round, of $150 million was jointly led by 5Y Capital (formerly known as Morningside Venture Capital), GL Ventures, Capital Today, and Meituan.

Before its Series C round, Horizon had closed six rounds of funding from marquee investors comprising DST Global, Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures China, Intel Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Korean KTB, Sequoia Capital China, and Sinovation Ventures, among others.

China has a thriving AI chip industry as the government expects to invest about $1.5 trillion in the country’s semiconductor sector by 2025.

On Jan 5, Shanghai-based AI  startup Enflame also hit the headlines when it closed a 1.8 billion yuan ($279 million) Series C round co-led by CITIC Private Equity Funds Management, CICC Capital’s sub-fund, and Primavera Capital. 

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.