Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup Unisound, (a.k.a. Yunzhisheng / 云知声) today announced that it had raised US$100 million in Series C funding, the richest-ever single funding round for a smart voice technology startup.
The investment was led by CLP Health Fund, joined by 360 Technology, Qianhai Wutong M&A Fund, Hanfor Capital, etc. Chinese media also reported that the company has already started its agenda-setting Series C+ funding.
Founded in 2012, Unisound aims at making Internet of Things (IoT) devices smarter by adding AI capabilities such as voice recognition, language processing, knowledge computing and big data solutions.
In a 2016 interview with Synced, Unisound Founder and CEO Huang Wei laid out his company’s ambitious “Chip+Edge+Cloud” strategy for producing processors and sensors to empower edge devices, enabling voice-activated interactions for users, and connecting edge devices with Unisound’s cloud-based intelligent platform.
Unisound puts a particular emphasis on smart home appliances, vehicles, and healthcare. Last month, Unisound and Shanghai-based Phicomm jointly launched the smart speaker R1, which leverages cutting-edge voice recognition and semantic analysis techniques to better understand human speech.
The company accounts for more than 70 percent of the aftermarket share in China’s automotive field, and its voice interaction solutions for healthcare are deployed in more than 60 major Chinese hospitals. Unisound’s supercomputer platform has reached a benchmark performance of 10 petaflops.
Last year, Unisound received CNY¥300 million (US$45 million) in investments for development of its first AI chip, UniOne, which will be released on May 16.
Journalist: Tony Peng| Editor: Michael Sarazen