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China’s Horizon Robotics Raises $400 Million to Develop Autonomous Driving Chips

By Ding Yi / Jan 08, 2021 04:22 PM / Finance

Horizon Robotics, a Chinese startup that develops artificial intelligence (AI) chips for smart vehicles, has bagged $400 million in a new funding round led by Baillie Gifford, YF Capital and battery-maker CATL, according to a company statement on Thursday.

The new funding comes at a time when China increasingly pursues a policy of self-sufficiency in high-tech industries including AI, semiconductors and information technology amid mounting tech and trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Proceeds from the new round, which is the second tranche of its series C funding round in which Horizon Robotics aims to raise $700 million, will be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of its chips designed for autonomous vehicles, as well as build a partner ecosystem in the industry, the statement said.

The Beijing-based startup, which was founded in 2015 by a former head of Baidu’s autonomous driving unit, said that it plans to launch its Journey 5 chip that features computing power of 96 trillion operations per second, enabling Level 3 and Level 4 autonomy.

Horizon Robotics completed the first tranche of the series C round in December when it received $150 million from a group of investors including 5Y Capital, Capital Today and Hillhouse Capital’s venture capital unit GL Ventures.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

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