Chinese artificial intelligence startup Mobvoi receives USD 180 M in Series D round
Founder: Li Tianfei
Founded in: 2012
Financing status: RMB 12 billion (USD 180 million) in Series D financing in 2017
Mobvoi is a Chinese artificial intelligence startup that develops both software and hardware products such as the Chinese voice recognition, natural language processing, and vertical search technology. The company focuses on developing voice recognition for hi-tech consumer products like self-driving cars, wearables and robots. Ticwatch, a smartwatch, is the latest offering by the company.
Set up by a group of former Google employees, the company has received funding of tens of millions of USD from Google itself as well.
However, Volkswagen has now jumped in the fray as well. The company has grabbed USD 180 M Series D round funding from the German automobile giant. With this, the company will now work on building artificial intelligence technology for Volkswagen cars.
Chinese news aggregator giant Toutiao receives USD 1 B in Series D round
Founder: Zhang Yiming
Founded in: 2012
Financing status: RMB 7 billion (USD 1 Billion) in Series D financing in 2017
Toutiao is a popular news aggregator giant in China that recommends personalized news to users based on its artificial intelligence technology. Based in Beijing, the news platform has so far has grabbed more than 700 million users in total and 175 million monthly active users.
The company has independently developed algorithm models to analyse data of how users interact with the content. That includes the time spend on reading and the actions made after or before reading like sharing an article or commenting on it. In this way, the company has formed its own big data platform, which can also be used to improve its precision of content recommendation and distribution.
Toutiao secured Series C round financing in 2014 led by Sequoia and followed by Weibo of Sina. For Series D round financing, more investors participated including Sequoia again as well as Jiantou Invest. Together, the companies have invested around USD 1 Billion and the fund will be used to expand the team and improve the content quality of Toutiao.
(Top photo from 58pic.com)