Beijing-based Horizon Robotics sealed a Series C financing round worth USD 1.5 billion, valuing the company at USD 5 billion. The startup has received backing from as many as 35 investors so far, with notable names like Intel Capital, Hillhouse Capital, and Yunfeng Capital backing the company’s plans for a USD 1 billion IPO in New York that could be completed by the end of 2021.
Horizon Robotics is the first Chinese company to mass-produce robotics chips for the auto industry, according to the startup’s founder Yu Kai. Since 2018, the company has rolled out its Journey 2 and Journey 3 automotive chips at scale. This year, Horizon expects to release the Journey 5, which can support L4 autonomous driving, where the car is fully autonomous in some scenarios, but still requires a human driver in other situations.
As a leader in intelligent automotive chip production, Horizon Robotics has benefited from strong investment momentum within the sector. Didi’s autonomous driving unit bagged USD 300 million from GAC Group earlier in June, while Hesai Technology, which produces lidar and other 3D sensors, secured its own USD 300 million from investors including Meituan, Xiaomi, and Hillhouse Capital just last week.
But these are just the latest moves in a hot sector that continues to attract capital. Over 20 startups in China’s autonomous driving space received a total of more than RMB 10 billion in investment so far in 2021.
KrASIA Connection features translated and adapted content published by 36Kr. This article was originally written by Liu Yichen for 36Kr.