BEIJING, Feb. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Horizon Robotics ("The Company"), a leading edge artificial intelligence computing platform, announced its Series B Financing with c. $600 million total investment at a valuation of $3Bn, jointly led by SK China, SK Hynix, and several top automotive groups and their investment vehicles. Other strategic partners and investors involved in this round include China Oceanwide Group's Oceanwide Capital, CMBC Capital, CLSA's CSOBOR Fund, and Oceanpine Capital. Existing shareholders, including Morningside Venture Capital, Hillhouse Capital, V Fund Management and Linear Venture, have also participated in the financing. The latest Series B Financing follows the $100M+ Series A Financing in late 2017 led by Intel Capital. In just over three years since inception, Horizon Robotics once again has received significant investment interest and support. As of now, two of the top three largest semiconductor giants are important shareholders of Horizon Robotics. Several top automotive groups have also invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Horizon, making the Company one of the largest investment cases in artificial intelligence for automobile companies.
Dr. Yu Kai, founder and CEO of Horizon Robotics, said: "Since its establishment more than three years ago, Horizon Robotics has devoted itself to becoming the leader in edge AI processors and computing platforms - enabling autonomous driving, smart cities, smart robotics and other AIoT devices "On the Horizon" - powering AI to make everyone's life safer and better. Presently, the concept of co-designing hardware and software for edge computing embraced by Horizon Robotics since 'Day 1' has become an important trend in the field of artificial intelligence. The key strategic partners and resources introduced in this financing round will further accelerate the pace of research & development and commercialization for us, strengthening the 'On the Horizon' ecosystem business model of supplying OEMs and Tier1s, enabling system integrators and industry solution providers, and actively participating in the evolution of autonomous driving, smart city, smart retail, smart robotics and other important fields in parallel as Horizon Robotics holds hands with its ecosystem partners. Together, we usher in the era of artificial intelligence."
Mr. Wu Zuoyi, President of SK China said, "Horizon Robotics has unparalleled technology supported by product capabilities and world-class talents. Especially in the field of AI processors and autonomous driving, we are impressed by its outstanding products and solutions. SK Group has a leading and solid foundation in the fields of 5G networking, autonomous driving and smart city. We believe that our strategic collaboration with Horizon Robotics can stimulate more innovation, promote complementarity and optimization of the industry positioning of both sides, and bring new development to the autonomous driving and telecommunication industries."
In 2017, Horizon Robotics successfully taped out and commercialized one of the world's first edge AI processors on a mass production level: "Journey" which focuses on autonomous driving, and "Sunrise" which focuses on AIoT. In 2018, Horizon Robotics converted on its first-mover advantage in technology into a steep ramp-up of its commercialization, relying on its unique combination of hardware, software, and AI processor technology for these two applications in autonomous driving and AIoT, and successfully released "Matrix" Platform for autonomous driving, and "XForce" platform for edge AI computing. Among these, "Matrix" has won the CES 2019 Innovation Award. Horizon Robotics' "Matrix" computing platform for autonomous driving has already been supplied to leading international automotive companies, marking an unprecedented commercialization showcase of edge computing technologies. By the end of 2018, Horizon Robotics also deployed "Navnet", a crowd-sourced high precision and high definition mapping and positioning solution based on "Matrix". For autonomous driving, Horizon Robotics has gradually expanded its network of top automotive Tier1s and OEMs. Partners include Audi, Bosch, Chang'an, BYD, SAIC Motor, and Guangzhou Automobile Group.
For AIoT, Horizon's "Sunrise" processor has completed over 20 design-wins during the second half of 2018, defining Horizon Robotics as one of the leading AI processor suppliers. Through deployment of AIoT solutions powered by "Sunrise", Horizon has facilitated the construction of smart cities and transportation networks in many development projects, enabling smart communities and residential buildings, supporting SK Telecom, BeLLE, Yonghui Supermarket, Longfor, and other partners as businesses integrate smart technology. Recently, Xiaomi's "Mi AI Speaker" - powered by Horizon's microphone-array voice recognition technology - was released, another milestone for Horizon's solution in the market. Horizon's edge AI processors and solutions are gradually enabling an "integrated perception awareness and multi-faceted human-machine interface."
Horizon Robotics integrates its deep expertise in "algorithm, processor design, software, and hardware." Supported by the Series B Financing, Horizon will continue to invest increasing resources in product and technology development, and expects breakthroughs in the coming year for automotive-grade processor architecture, and its third-generation processor architecture.
The financing has brought important strategic resources and new commercialization opportunities for Horizon, fueling a growing momentum in the expansion of the ecosystem around its core businesses. Going forward, Horizon will continue to conquer the "Everest" of artificial intelligence and edge computing. As Horizon advances towards this vision, it will foster new application scenarios, and grow this ecosystem together with its partners, making deeper and broader contributions in the field of artificial intelligence.
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