(Yicai Global) Feb. 27 -- Horizon Robotics, a three-year-old startup that develops artificial intelligence chips, raised USD600 million in its latest fundraising led by South Korean semiconductor giant SK Hynix and Chinese automaker-backed venture capital funds.
Completion of its series B financing has raised Horizon Robotics' valuation to USD3 billion, the Beijing-based company said.
The unicorn previously secured about USD100 million in a series A+ in 2017, led by California-based Intel, the world's second-largest semiconductor maker. Two of the top three global chip firms by revenue have now become major shareholders, online tech media 36Kr reported today.
Set up in 2015, Horizon Robotics put its products to commercial use last year, founder and Chief Executive Yu Kai revealed, adding that its current application scenarios focus on intelligent driving, smart cities and new retail. It has a range of clients, including Germany's Audi and Shenzhen-based BYD, South Korean telecoms operator SK Telecom and Chinese supermarket chain Yonghui Superstores.
Its AI chip shipments reached the hundreds of thousands last year and revenue was several hundreds of million of yuan, Yu said, without providing exact figures. Mass production of Horizon Robotics' second-generation AI chips will start this year and it expects to ship more than 1 million, boosting revenue, Yu added.
The company hopes to speed the launch of applications that use AI chips and deepen cooperation up and down stream by exploiting SK Hynix's advantages in the sector. Its auto industry investors will also bring resources from the self-driving vehicle field and promote research and development of autonomous driving.