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In response to that, China’s biztech media 36Kr has created the Observation & Insights column, with our senior journalists sharing their exclusive industry news and market observations to help entrepreneurs and investors make better decisions.
Although the valuation of the famous companies on AI chip track has reached or is about to reach the level of unicorns, besides being questioned by the uncertainties of Tapeout or market demand, these companies are likely to complete new financing at high valuation this year considering the current development trend.
It has been shown that smart chip manufacturer Cambricon completed a new round of financing at $2 billion on April 2018. In October last year, the AI company Horizon completed nearly a $100 million A round financing, while the deep learning solution provider DeePhi was awarded $40 million financing and became a star company on the track.
The recent information obtained from the industry shows that at present, many investment institutions focusing on middle or late stages of funding are negotiating with several chip companies, hoping to participate in their financing rounds this year. These institutions include some wealth management enterprises, while the To LP mode makes the famous startups in AI become their priority targets.
Exit channels are important factors for investment institutions to consider. Although currently, several top-tier companies are likely to push the progress of their Tapeout, the market demand has not been verified and the industry is still challenging the valuation of top-tier AI chips companies, some investment institutions are still relatively optimistic about the takeover of top-tier companies working on IP design. Therefore, these companies are likely to complete a new round of financing this year with high valuation.
Correspondingly, the difficulty of other chip companies in landing financing is likely to increase. Financing is likely to be based on successful Tapeout and clear business models.