Intel Capital joins $100m round in China’s Horizon Robotics, backs Japan’s LeapMind $10m Series B

Representatives of Horizon Robotics, one of the companies receiving Intel Capital investments, are shown at the 2017 Intel CEO Showcase on Oct. 19, 2017, in San Francisco. Credit: Intel Corporation

Intel Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of Intel Corporation, has backed a Series A+ round in Chinese computer chips maker Horizon Robotics. The round is expected to total about $100 million upon completion, the investor said in a statement.

The funding to the Chinese firm is part of the latest tranche of investments worth $60 million in 15 global startups announced by Intel Capital. The only other Asian startup to make the list was Tokyo’s LeapMind, which provides deep learning research and software as a service (SaaS). The latest tranche brings Intel Capital’s year-to-date investments to more than $566 million.

Horizon Robotics, which aims to build a prototype driverless car that can park itself, will use the latest fund infusion to expand its R&D and engineering team. Other investors in its Series A+ round include Harvest Investments, Hillhouse Capital, Wu Capital, Linear Ventures and Morningside Venture Capital.

“Intel is playing an active role in supporting companies that are driving technology innovation in China. Horizon Robotics has attracted a talented and experienced team in Artificial Intelligence (AI) with deep expertise in applications such as autonomous driving and human machine interface (HMI),” said Daniel McNamara, corporate vice president and general manager of the Programmable Solutions Group at Intel Corporation. McNamara will join the Horizon Robotics board.

LeapMind raised over $10 million in a Series B round led by Intel Capital and joined by GMO VenturePartners, Visionnaire Ventures, Itochu Technology Ventures, NTT DATA Corporation, Innovative Venture Fund Investment and Archetype Ventures.

The deep learning startup plans to use the funds for active R&D for both software and hardware applications, recruitment and employee retention, and business development and expanding sales operations, an Intel Capital statement said.

The other additions to Intel’s portfolio include Amenity Analytics, Bigstream, Synthego, AdHawk Microsystems, Trace, Bossa Nova Robotics, EchoPixel, Reniac, TileDB Inc, Alcide, Eclypsium, Intezer, and Synack. The startups focus on artificial intelligence, 3D medical visualization, robots for retail, and cybersecurity inspired by the human immune system, among other technologies.

“The world is undergoing a data explosion,” said Wendell Brooks, Intel senior vice president and president of Intel Capital.

“By 2020, every autonomous vehicle on the road will create 4 TB of data per day. A million self-driving cars will create the same amount of data every day as 3 billion people. As Intel transitions to a data company, Intel Capital is actively investing in startups across the technology spectrum that can help expand the data ecosystem and pathfind important new technologies,” Brooks said.

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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.