Chinese chip designer Vastai raises $50m Series A round led by Kuaishou, others

Vastai Technologies, a Chinese high-performance intelligent chip designer and full-stack solutions provider, has secured $50 million in a Series A round of financing, according to a statement on Monday.

The transaction was jointly led by Chinese video-sharing app Kuaishou; Redpoint China Ventures, which invests in early-stage TMT startups in the consumer Internet and enterprise IT space; and 5Y Capital (formerly Morningside Venture Capital).

Existing investors Glory Ventures, which focuses on the new-generation IT industry; Beijing-based angel investor ZhenFund; and Chinese early-stage technology investment firm Sirius Capital participated in the round.

Vastai was set up in December 2018 in Shanghai by John Qian, a former executive at US-based technology conglomerate Cisco and semiconductor giant AMD, and Louis Zhang, who previously led AMD’s video-related technical development.

The firm is mainly involved in the R&D of AI and computer vision-based application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and software platforms. It creates intelligent applications for clients in the fields of smart city, smart surveillance, intelligent education, and healthcare, among others.

Vastai’s products focus on the optimisation of computer vision and video processing, providing multiple features and high-efficient power for AI-based areas, covering edge to cloud, systems on a chip (SoCs), and servers.

“The development and application of new technologies like AI, 5G, ultra-high-definition videos, live streaming, short videos, and video conferencing all require the support of strong computing power,” said Qian in the statement.

Proceeds of the Series A round will be used to finance the large-scale production & commercialisation of its major chip products, to fund R&D talents’ recruitment, and to speed up its expansion of global clients.

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.