Black Sesame Technologies, also known as BST.AI, is a high-tech company committed to research and development of autonomous driving computing chips and platforms. On Wednesday, it announced to have completed two rounds of financing, namely, the strategic round and the C round of financing.
BST.AI says it is now valued at nearly US $2 billion after the strategic round and C round, and now has officially become a “unicorn”.
The two rounds of financing are for R&D, recruitment, market expansion, and the commercialization of its next-generation, high-performance, computer-led automatic driving platform.
Reports suggest that the investors in the strategic round were Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd., and FulScience Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd., among others.
The C Round was also led by Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund, followed by investors including Wingtech Technology, SummitView Capital, and FutureX Capital.
The company was founded in 2016 and completed a round of financing from Northern Light Venture Capital in the same year. Later, in 2018, the company completed another round of financing, this time an A+ round worth nearly 100 million yuan ($15.464 million).
In August 2019, BST.AI released its first car-gauge intelligent driving chip HuaShan-1 A500 in China, which can deliver 0-10 TOPS/s.
Less than a year later, the company unveiled its second-generation chip HuaShan-1 A1000, with a higher amount of computing power at 116 TOPS/s. This is China’s first chip that can support L2+ automatic driving.
This latest round of financing marks Xiaomi’s first foray into the upstream core chip link of the automobile production sector after the company announced its own efforts to build an electric car.
On March 30 this year, Xiaomi announced its venture into the smart electric vehicle business and would invest more than 10 billion yuan in the initial stage and $10 billion over the next decade.