From 2015 to 2017, more than 450 Chinese AI start-ups had total financing of 30 billion yuan (US $4 billion 800 million). Although the number of financing rounds declined in 2017, the total amount of financing in that year doubled more than the total amount of financing in 2015 and 2016. The total amount of the 64 round of financing ranged from $15 million to $150 million, of which 5 rounds exceeded $150 million.
Which companies have the most financing?
In July 2017, SenseTime, based in Beijing, announced a $410 million B round of financing, making it the largest AI unicorn in China. In October 31st, Megvii, a face recognition company, received $360 million in addition to $100 million in C round financing, claiming a record $460 million for the year.
This is not the end of this story: in April 9, 2018, Shang Tang technology officially announced the C round of up to $600 million, the Alibaba group, and the investment side is Temasek, Suning and several other strategic partners. Shang Tang technology has once again created a global record, becoming the world's most valuable AI startups.
Which company unexpectedly melts huge funds?
In addition to Shang Tang technology and open technology, two other Chinese AI companies have more than 150 million dollars in a single round of financing. One of them was carbon cloud intelligence (iCarbonX), which was founded by Wang Jun, the former chief executive of Huada gene at the end of 2015. In April 2016, the company invested $150 million in Tencent holdings and became an endless Unicorn overnight.
Carbon cloud intelligence uses AI technology to analyze customer data to help customers manage their own health. The company's digital health management platform (Meum) provides personalized recommendation for users in the areas of fitness, skin care, and nutrition with the help of continuous data tracking technology.
The big plan of 2018
If a start-up company stops financing for two years, people may wonder if it is still alive. We surveyed low profile start-ups who announced financing in 2015, and they set up a big plan for 2018.
Emotibot Technologies Limited is a AI chatting robot startups, which raised $25 million in 2015. The company has since developed a total of $47 million, and has developed small shadow personal service robots, financial robots for financial management, and customer service oriented customer service robots. AI, a shopping assistant Sue, first appeared in the 2018 CES exhibition.
D-Ear Technologies consolidated $2 million 400 thousand in the A round of financing in 2015. The company's core voice and voice recognition product, c-SMB, has been deployed in the public security field, the China Construction Bank mobile banking platform and the Vanke Hotel identity authentication system. According to reports, the company is expected to complete its $15 million financing in 2018.
Dorabot, a robotics start-up, has previously completed a round A financing led by the Yunfeng Fund for an undisclosed amount. The company uses computer vision systems to scan, classify and locate, and designs path planning systems for automated guided vehicles (AGV) and motion planning. According to sources, Mr Blue will announce a partnership with top logistics and e-commerce companies in 2018.
There are also less fortunate: the AI platform Mioji Travel, which provides customized travel plans, announced that it would switch to the B2B market after losing the B2C market.
List of China's AI start-ups with the highest financing amount from 2015 to 2017
Company name: Horizon Robotics (horizon robot)
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $121 million
The latest round of financing: $100 million
Progress since 2017: the introduction of an embedded AI based computer vision processor based on the Gauss architecture and the sun for smart cameras for intelligent driving cars.
2018's plan: introducing a Bernoulli based AI processor that can use not only a multisensor fusion scheme but also a sparse and two element network to support the simultaneous access and processing of 4 road 1080p @ 30fps image data.
Company name: CloudWalk Technology
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $117 million 600 thousand
The latest round of financing: B round, $78 million 400 thousand
Progress since 2017: achieved annual income of approximately $62.7 million, nominated by the National Development and Reform Commission of China (NDRC)
The plan for 2018 is to make significant breakthroughs in the field of safety and protection.
Company name: Cambrian Technology (Cambricon Technologies)
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $103 million 100 thousand
The latest round of financing: $100 million
Progress since 2017: two depth learning processors were released, Cambrian -1H8 was released in the first quarter of 2017, Cambrian -1H16 was released in the third quarter, and a new generation of mobile chip kylin 970 using NPU was introduced with HUAWEI.
The plan for 2018: launch a Cambrian -1M chip for automatic driving.
Company name: Beijing Orion Star Technology, Beijing
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $93 million 300 thousand
The latest round of financing: A round, $40 million 750 thousand
Progress since 2017: the launch of independent research and development of remote voice interaction system; in collaboration with the popular Chinese audio streaming media platform, Himalaya, a voice operated sound box has been released.
2018 plan: Hardware mass production.
Name of the company: Tussan (TuSimple)
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $72 million 800 thousand
The latest round of financing: C round, $55 million
Progress since 2017: long distance road tests on its Level 4 self driving truck.
The 2018 plan: a road test for a fleet of 50 trucks in China, a road test for a fleet of hundreds of trucks in the United States, and an automated driving truck in China and the United States.
Company name: YITU Technology
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $70 million 600 thousand
The latest round of financing: round C, the amount has not been announced
Progress since 2017: the introduction of a AI based clinical research platform with a complete set of medical solutions and products; an investor of AccutarBio and ThinkForce.
The plan for 2018 is to expand overseas markets and explore business opportunities in the area of safety monitoring.
Company name: ThinkForce
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $70 million 500 thousand
The latest round of financing: A round, $70 million 500 thousand
Progress since 2017: successful financing.
The plan for 2018 is to introduce chips based on multi-core architectures, and to complete and optimize AI cloud virtualization scheduling technology during the implementation of chip level.
Company name: Unisound
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $62 million 700 thousand
The latest round of financing: strategic financing, $47 million
Since 2017, the annual income has reached about 15 million US dollars; the AI operating system AIOS and audio control system Pandora have been launched to establish a joint venture with safe doctor to expand business to mobile medical services.
2018 plan: focus on the research and development of AI chip UniOne, aiming to optimize the cloud terminal chip ecosystem and achieve commercialization.
Company name: Rokid
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $55 million
The latest round of financing: B round, $50 million
Progress since 2017: in cooperation with ALI cloud, a full stack service platform has been released in China to link terminals to the cloud. Based on Linux and Android operating systems, the cloud platform is a voice - oriented cross - key solution; the Rokid glasses are officially launched, and the intelligent AR glasses adopt AI voice and face recognition technology.
The plan for 2018 is to achieve mass production of Rokid glasses.
Company name: Yixue Education
Financing from 2015 to 2017: $47 million
The latest round of financing: Angel wheel, $41 million
Progress since 2017: cooperation with more than 500 schools in China's two to four line cities has successfully promoted its intelligent teaching platform squirrel AI.
The 2018 plan: developing an adaptive learning system based on AI for primary and secondary education.
The 64 AI start-ups with the highest financing amount are between $15 million and $150 million.