(Yicai Global) Feb. 10 -- Horizon Robotics, a six-year-old startup that develops artificial intelligence chips with a focus on autonomous driving, has raised USD350 million in its latest fundraiser led by Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motors, the firm said yesterday.
Other participants in the C-3 round of financing included electric carmaker BYD, car parts manufacturer Changjiang Automobile Electronic and Dongfeng Asset Management. No specific investment amounts were given, nor the resulting shareholding.
Baoding, northern Hebei province-based Great Wall Motors at the same time signed a strategic cooperation deal with Horizon that will see the two players work together to develop smart auto products, in particular advanced driving assistance systems, high-level unmanned driving and smart cockpit technology.
Great Wall Motors and Horizon will build full-chain self-driving AI core technology together and promote mass production of these products, said Wei Jianjun, chairman of the carmaker.
Beijing-based Horizon is preparing to launch a new generation chip Journey 5 for Level Three and Level Four autonomous driving, in which the car can perform most functions on its own but still needs human intervention at times, in the first half of this year, according to the company’s website. It started mass production of automotive AI chips last year.
The startup has raised USD900 million in Series-C funding, much more than its target of USD700 million. Last December it secured USD150 million in a C-1 round and a further USD400 million in a C-2 round last month. Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, electric car battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology, Beijing-based venture capital firm Hillhouse Capital and the UK’s investment management firm Baillie Gifford took part.
The funds will be used to promote the development and commercialization of a new generation of automotive smart chips, it said.
Prior to this, Horizon bagged USD600 million in Series-B financing in February 2019, giving it a valuation of USD3 billion at the time.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor