Legend Capital leads $100m Series B for Chinese AI startup

Legend Capital, the venture and growth capital arm of China’s Legend Holdings Ltd, has led a $100-million series B round for Black Sesame Intelligent Technology Co Ltd, a Chinese artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled digital imaging technology developer, according to an announcement.

The investment was made through a semiconductor-focused fund managed by Legend Capital.

The round was joined by Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC Motor; SK China, an affiliate of South Korean conglomerate SK Group; investment firm China Merchants Capital; Delta Capital; and FengHe Fund Management.

Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC), an existing Black Sesame backer, also invested in the new round.

The funding raised will be used for product development, software integration and accelerate production, the firm said.

Founded in 2016, Black Sesame Technologies provides solutions for image processing and computing images, as well as embedded sensing platforms. The firm specialises in algorithms for smartphones, autonomous driving, and other consumer electronics.

Black Sesame Technologies has raised a total of $115 million in funding over two rounds, according to Crunchbase. Last year, it raised $15 million in Series A funding round led by NIO Capital, the investment firm backed by Chinese electric-vehicle startup NIO.

Legend Capital, which has total assets under management worth 400 billion yuan, is a venture capital subsidiary of Legend Holdings and targets early-stage and expansion-stage investments. The venture capital firm has raised about seven US dollar-denominated funds and four RMB funds.

The Beijing-headquartered venture capital firm had recently led a 200 million yuan ($29 million) Series A funding round for Chinese drug developer Sciwind Biosciences, which is focused on treating metabolic disorders.

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