Tencent Doubles Down in Betting on AI Chip Company Enflame Tech
What’s new: Enflame Technology completed a 1.8 billion yuan ($279 million) Series C round of fundraising, the AI-based cloud computing company said Tuesday.
The latest round more than doubled Enflame’s valuation to 10.8 billion yuan from 5.2 billion yuan, according to an investor who participated. Coming just eight months after a 700 million yuan fundraising, the new round shows that artificial intelligence is still hot field for venture investors.
Investors in the round include Citic Private Equity Funds Management Co. Ltd., China Capital Investment Group, Primavera Capital and Tencent Holdings.
This was the fourth time Tencent bet on the startup over more than two years. Levin Yao, managing director of Tencent’s investment unit, sits on Enflame’s board. Shanghai-based Enflame, which develops cloud-based deep learning chips for AI training platforms, is working with Tencent on a variety of AI applications.
The background: An array of Chinese AI companies have managed to close big-ticket investments in the past year.
Horizon Robotics, a developer of artificial intelligence chips for robots, said last month it planned to raise more than $700 million in a Series C round. Big data and AI unicorn MiningLamp Technology said a few days earlier it completed a $200 million Series E+ round. Tencent also invested in MiningLamp.
In June, Biren Technology raked in 1.1 billion yuan in its Series A round. Fourth Paradigm, an AI technology and service provider, also known as 4Paradigm, secured $230 million in a Series C+ round in April.
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