Chinese AI Chip Maker Cambricon Raises Massive Funding Round Led By SDIC Venture

Chinese artificial intelligence chip maker Cambricon Technologies Corp Ltd. has raised a series B round worth several hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars led by SDIC Venture Capital, a subsidiary of state-owned investment holding group China Reform Holdings Corp Ltd, China State-owned Capital Venture Investment Fund and its sub-fund Guoxin Qidi Fund.

CICC Capital, CITIC Securities Goldstone Investment Fund, TCL Capital, a Chinese Academy of Sciences fund, as well as some existing investors including Alibaba Innovation Ventures, also participated in the round, according to Cambricon’s announcement on its official WeChat account.

Cambricon said its post-money valuation has reached US$2.5 billion.

Cambricon was founded in 2016 by Chen Tianshi, a professor at the Institute Of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy Of Sciences. In 2016, the company launched a processor, named Cambricon-1A, which it claims to be the world’s first commercial chip for deep learning. The product can be applied in a number of fields, including smartphones, security, drones, wearable devices and autonomous driving.

In May, it unveiled two products, a cloud-based smart chip Cambricon MLU100 and a new version of its AI processor IP product Cambricon 1M. MLU100 can deal with sound, image and natural language processing.

In August 2017, Cambricon raised a US$100 million series A round led by SDIC Chuangye Investment Management, a subsidiary of State Development & Investment Corp, and participated by Alibaba Innovation Ventures, Lenovo Capital, Chinese big data firm Turing Technology and others investors.

In 2016, Cambricon raised a pre-A round worth tens of millions of RMB from Oriza, Yonghua and iFlytek.

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