Horizon Robotics secures funding to develop AI chips for driverless vehicles

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Horizon Robotics, a Chinese developer of AI chips for smart vehicles, has secured US$400m (£295m) in a Series C2 funding round to develop autonomous driving chips.

The funding was co-led by UK-based investment firm Baillie Gifford, private equity firm YF Capital, CITIC Private Equity Funds Management, and Chinese battery designer Contemporary Amperex Technology.

The funding will be used by the company to develop and commercialise chips for autonomous vehicles and for creating a partner ecosystem in the industry.

The US$400m funding is the second tranche of the company’s Series C funding round through which the Chinese start-up aims to raise US$700m (£515m).

In December 2020, Horizon Robotics closed the first tranche of the Series C round, where it secured an investment of US$150m (£110m) from various investors, including Capital Today, 5Y Capital, and GL Ventures, a venture capital unit of Hillhouse Capital.

Based in Beijing, China, Horizon Robotics was established in 2015 by former Baidu’s autonomous driving unit head Kai Yu.

The company said it intends to launch its Journey 5 chip, which will reportedly have capacity to compute 96 trillion operations per second to enable Level 3 and Level 4 autonomy.

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