AI chip startup ThinkForce receives USD 68M for Series A
Founded in: 2017
Financing status: RMB 450 million (USD 68 million) for Series A financing in 2017
AI chip startup, ThinkForce, received USD 68 million for Series A on December 14 to further invest in the R&D of algorithms.
On the world stage, AI (Artificial Intelligence) chips have already become the most important strategic highlight for tech industry giants. Google developed TPU; Nvidia launched Pascal and Volta architecture in succession; Intel purchased Mobileye for USD 15 billion. Overseas, Movidius, Facebook, and Tesla, and, domestically, Alibaba and Tencent have plans in the AI chip industry. These tech giants have already begun to invest in the AI chip.
ThinkForce is a Chinese AI chip startup that provides intelligent semiconductors with leading AI algorithms and the most advanced silicon art, upon which it builds AI hardware platforms and offers turn-key industry solutions. The company cooperates with vertical industry leaders to build the ecosystem for the AI chip industry. It also offers intelligent calculation power based on its AI chip and other related products and services.
ThinkForce was founded in 2017 in Shanghai. Its team is mainly from IBM, AMD, INTEL, LSI, Broadcom, Cadence, ZTE and other chip giants. Unlike others, ThinkForce created a new concept, which aims to complete the integration of AI chips and algorithms in order to achieve a higher efficiency based on their seamless connection. Meanwhile, it designs its products based on real cases by working with partners from other industries.
This new financing round was from a group of investors, including Yitu Technology, a startup specializing in the innovative research and development of AI, YF Capital, Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital, and others. The capital will be used to further invest in strengthening AI chip manufacutring, as well as to pay more attention to market expansion to enable its AI chips and algorithms to be adopted to more real cases.
EV startup XiaopengMotors secures SeriesA+ from Alibaba & others
Founder: He Xiaopeng
Founded in: 2014
Financing status: Undisclosed Series A+ financing in 2017
EV startup, XiaopengMotors, secured Series A+ from Alibaba & others on December 15 to launch its 2.0 version of electric vehicles that will target the public.
Xiaopeng Motors is an EV (Electric vehicle) startup that specializes in researching and developing the electric Internet of Vehicles, as well as providing customers with refreshing transportation experiences in the field of new energy vehicles. It released its beta version vehicle in 2016, which is an electric SUV featuring high-tech, intelligent, and stylish characteristics. It has powerful acceleration performance abilities and considerable mileage. Equipped with multiple intelligent hardware and driving functions, including a 12.3-inch LCD Instrument, a 15.6 inch touch screen, intelligent driving support, and remote control.
In 2014, Xiaopeng Motors received investment from He Xiaopeng, as well as the founder of UC Web, Li Xueling, the founder of YY, Fu Sheng, the CEO of Cheetah Mobile, Wu Xiaoguang, the executive of Tencent, Zhang Ying, GP of Matrix Partners China. As we know, Tencent led two rounds of financing for NIO, while Baidu invested in NIO and WM Motor. China’s three biggest tech giants, known as BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) are now competing in the field of electric vehicles through investment.
Previously, Xiaopeng Motors completed a Series A financing round amounting to USD 333 million, led by Youche Fund (initiated by UCAR), and Haima Motor. And this latest Series A+ financing round was from a group of investors, including Alibaba, GGV Capital, Morningside Group, IDG, MatrixPartners China, Shunwei Capital, XinDing Capital, lightspeed partners, and others. The capital will be used to further invest in the R&D, production, and sale of Xiaopeng Motors’ new version of electric vehicles, with the first model set to go into mass production by the end of this year.
（Top photo from 699pic.com）