Chinese venture capital firm GSR Ventures and Gobi Partners have joined a RMB35 million (US$5 million) series A round in DeepBrain, a four-month old business providing AI and blockchain-based SaaS solutions to Internet of Things (IoT) hardware manufacturers and app developers.
A Shanghai-based venture capital firm Qianshi Capital also participated in the round, according to media reports.
Founded in May, Shanghai-based DeepBrain focuses on developing semantic skills, man-machine conversation engines, functional components in robots, data analysis and interconnection of home devices. Their team has launched a Chinese language voice assistant, a semantic development platform and an AI-based remote voice interaction device. The start-up has also developed an AI operating system based on blockchain.
Currently, DeepBrain has partnered with Samsung, Lenovo, smart home speaker maker DingDong, Horizon Robotics and many other manufacturers for its hardware products.
China’s artificial intelligence industry in 2016 reached over RMB10 billion (US$1.5 billion) in value, up 43.3% year-on-year. Thanks to the enthusiasm of venture capital firms, expansion of the industry is expected to accelerate to around 51.2% in 2017 to reach RMB15 billion (US$2.3 billion), according to iiMedia Research.
Four months ago, GSR Ventures, a US$1.5 billion-under-management venture firm, joined a new round of financing in Beijing-based deep learning platform developer DeePhi Tech and U.S.-based mapping start-up DeepMap Inc.