Chinese startup plans to raise $1bn for AI chip development

Horizon Robotics looks to raise China's semiconductor market and end its reliance on imported chips which it currently spends more on than oil


Horizon Robotics has announced its Series B plans to raise $1bn to aid in the creation of AI chips, as well as other AI-powered "smart" projects such as autonomous vehicles and facial recognition software.

Founded in 2015, Beijing-based AI startups Horizon Robotics specializes in the embedding of AI into smart devices and has claimed to be "dedicated to providing integrated and open embedded AI solutions of high performance, low power and low cost".

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The startup has already made significant progress in the computer vision market with its "Sunrise 1.0 processor" used in Chinese facial recognition and tracking video surveillance cameras which the firm hopes will be utilized in smart cities and smart businesses.

The firm has also received backing from chip specialists Intel and this latest round of funding will bring the budding unicorn's valuation to somewhere between the $3bn to $4bn mark. The company also recently partnered with Audi to help it bring its dreams of autonomous vehicles to life.

While Horizon Robotics is a relatively small player on the world stage, it is in an advantageous position, with China aiming to become the world leader in AI and ending its dependence on imported chips.

A report released by UBS in 2018, which estimated that the size of the cloud-to-device market would reach $15bn by 2021, said: "[Horizon Robotics] is still small compared to global leaders, but their access to abundant venture capital and strong government support might be a growth booster going forward."

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