Baidu's Chip Affiliate Explores Second Funding Round, Wants To Capitalize On Growing Appetite From Venture Capitalists

  • Baidu, Inc BIDU chip affiliate Kunlun discussed raising 2 billion yuan ($317 million) in its second funding round, Bloomberg reports.
  • Kunlun has deployed its AI chips to power Baidu's core searching services, and the new financing will help it further expand its client base beyond its parent in a market dominated by Nvidia Corp NVDA.
  • Demand for efficient semiconductors processing information got fueled by a boom in high-resolution video games, cryptocurrency mining, and other data-intensive applications.
  • The investment could lift the Beijing-based startup's valuation to 17 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) from 13 billion yuan at its first funding round a little over a year ago.
  • Kunlun, specializing in artificial intelligence chips, has recently started mass-producing microchips that pack more computational power by using 7-nanometer technology. 
  • China's venture capitalists shifted away from internet businesses following intensifying regulatory crackdown to core technologies like semiconductors, favored by Beijing.
  • Chinese leaders are keen to cultivate a homegrown semiconductor industry and reduce their reliance on American technology following U.S. sanctions on Chinses companies.
  • Price Action: BIDU shares traded lower by 0.92% at $122.30 in the premarket on the last check Wednesday.
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