Horizon Robotics, secured a $600 million investment in a Series B funding round, led by SK China and SK Hynix — the Chinese subsidiary and semiconductor unit of South Korean conglomerate SK. Several Chinese automaker-backed venture capital funds also made notable contributions.
Horizon Robotics primarily deal with the manufacture of AI (Artificial Intelligence) chips. With the latest fundraise, the company has been put at a valuation to the north of $3 billion. The funding is a part of the growing push by the Chinese Govt. as well as the country’s private sector to boost semiconductor industry.
Co-founded in 2015 by former Baidu executive, Yu Kai, Horizon has worked with famous automobile manufacturers, Audi and Changan to develop autonomous vehicles. The company also secured many government contracts and several large-scale clients like SK, who use Horizon Robotics’ algorithm in their smart retail solutions. China’s tech sector rely on imported chips and the funding received by Horizon could see the country move towards more self-reliant options in accordance with it’s “Made in 2025” policy, spearheaded by the robotics company. The company also deals in the security industry.
Horizon expected “breakthroughs” in the coming year for automotive-grade processor architecture, and third-generation processor architecture, a company spokeswoman said. This is promising as AI chip sales are expected to rise 52 per cent annually from to US$34.3 billion in 2023, according to a February research note by Wells Fargo Securities.