Kneron, a leading AI chip development company, recently announced that it has successfully raised $49 million in an extension to its Series B funding round. This latest injection of capital comes from notable investors such as Foxconn, Alltek, Horizon Ventures, Liteon Technology Corp, Adata, and Palpilot. With this funding, Kneron’s total raised capital now amounts to an impressive $190 million.
The $49 million funding raised by Kneron will fuel its expansion and strengthen its presence in the automotive industry. With the growing demand for AI chips and Kneron’s unique advantages in this field, the company is well-positioned to become a significant player in the industry. Kneron’s lightweight, reconfigurable solutions address major challenges faced by AI use cases and enable the proliferation of AI technology.
Growing Demand for AI Chips in the Automotive Industry
Kneron’s CEO, Albert Liu, explained that the newly secured funds will be primarily utilized to strengthen the company’s presence in the automotive industry, with a particular focus on its go-to-market efforts. Additionally, Kneron aims to expand its research and development division by attracting exceptional talent. The surge in demand for AI chips in autonomous vehicles and generative applications has created a lucrative market opportunity for Kneron to capitalize on.
Market Potential and Increasing Investor Interest
The soaring demand for AI technology has spurred a corresponding need for specialized chips capable of handling AI workloads. According to industry analyst firm Gartner, this has resulted in a projected revenue opportunity of $53.4 billion for the semiconductor industry, representing a substantial 20.9% growth from 2022. Consequently, venture capital funding for chip startups has doubled between 2017 and 2022, according to PitchBook data. Kneron stands to benefit significantly from this trend.
Competitors and Kneron’s Unique Position
Kneron faces competition from a range of companies operating in the AI chip space, including NeuReality, Hailo, Mythic, Flex Logix, and industry incumbents like Google, Amazon, and Nvidia. However, despite the challenging landscape, Kneron has secured a strong footing in the market. Boasting a customer base of around 30 renowned brands such as Garmin, Naver, and Quanta, Kneron continues to generate substantial revenue in the “double-digit millions” range. The company’s acquisition of Otus, an imaging tech provider, further solidifies its position in the automotive sector with partnerships with major players like JVC Kenwood.
In the short term, Kneron intends to focus on strategic areas within AI, such as autonomous cars, in order to minimize competition with existing dominant players. However, the company does have ambitious plans to challenge industry incumbents in the future, potentially through collaborations with third-party vendors. Kneron aims to further resolve critical issues in AI, including latency, security, and cost, making AI accessible across a wide range of industries.