US-based on-device edge AI developer Kneron has garnered an additional $40 million in funding led by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, bringing the total capital raised in its Series A round to $73 million.
The company previously received $33 million from Horizons Ventures, Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, a not-for-profit fund launched by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, and Shenzhen-listed software firm Thundersoft, according to a statement.
Taiwan-based investment banking firm CDIB, fabless semiconductor developer Himax Technologies, semiconductor major Qualcomm, and Sequoia Capital also poured money into the round.
Established in 2015, Kneron is a provider of edge AI solutions, engaged in the design and development of integrated software and hardware solutions for smart home, surveillance, smartphones, personal computers, robots, drones, smart vehicles and various internet of things (IoT) devices.
Its product offerings enable face detection, facial recognition, body detection and gesture recognition. The company also develops neural processing units (NPU), and KL520 AI chipsets, which can accelerate neural network models from both Kneron and third parties on mass-market devices enabling 2D/3D visual recognition and audio recognition applications.
“We are excited to see Kneron’s AI software and hardware solutions integrating into partner products that are shipping worldwide,” said Jonathan Tam from Horizons Ventures in the statement. “We expect to see a surge in demand for on-device AI compute going forward.”
The transaction is the latest investment made by Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures in 2020. Most recently, the company injected capital into a $40 million round in New Zealand-based Soul Machines, which uses AI to develop avatars and help businesses engage with customers. It also led a $15 million Series A+ round in Hong Kong-based AI startup MioTech earlier this month.
Li was an early backer of Facebook and Spotify through Horizons Ventures. The company’s current investments include plant-based-meat maker Impossible Foods, Elon Musk’s infrastructure and tunnel construction services firm The Boring Company, and Australia-based payment unicorn Airwallex.