Biren Technology received 1.1 billion reminbi (US$ 170 million) in a series A round from a multitude of well known investors— Qiming Venture Capital, IDG Capital, Walden International, V Fund, Green Pine Capital Partners, Meridian Capital and others. The amount set a new record for series A in China.
The company, which wants to produce general purpose AI chip design, was only nine months old when it received the injection in June 2020. It’s core team is comprised of engineers with post-graduate degrees from the Ivy Leagues of both the U.S. and China.
Two months later, they successfully raised another pre-B round of about 900 million renminbi (US$139 million) from another long list of venture capital funds, in addition to follow on investments from some of the series A investors.
Biren intends to use the funds raised for product R&D and market development. It has also set up two technology scholarships in Tsing Hua University to nurture new talent.
AI unicorn Cambricon debuted on China’s new Science & Technology Board in July 2020 with an eye-popping 246% gain. It immediately became the darling of local stock markets with market capitalization topping 100 billion renminbi at one point.
The proceeds from its IPO are going towards its core operations and operating cash flow, as well as projects to build new generation cloud AI chips and systems, and an edge computing AI chip.
On January 21st, 2021, Cambricon launched its new MLU290-M5 seven nanometer AI training chip and the Xuansi 1000 AI accelerator card. The Xuansi 1000 combines four MLU290–5 chips together to give a computing speed of not less than 4.1 PetaOPS, and the company claims one unit can fully replace a small traditional super computing center.