Horizon Robotics Raises $600M, Upstart iAsk Capital Rides the Wave
New economy founder-focused venture fund iAsk Capital celebrated another win for its portfolio last week when Horizon Robotics -- an A.I. chipmaker founded by Dr. Yu Kai -- announced on Wednesday that it had closed a $600 million B-round led by Korean conglomerate SK Group at a $3 billion valuation.
Horizon Robotics is the fourth company in the iAsk Capital portfolio to earn unicorn status, raising interest in the fund's founders' office model and its founding partner, Gloria Ai
Formerly a venture partner at Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund, Gloria Ai is also the founder and face of iAsk Media, a multimedia business network known for profiling some of China and the world's most influential founders and investors. Since 2014, with nearly one hundred of global business media partners, iAsk Media's more than 1300 profiles have included exclusive interviews with Chinese megacorn founders such as TikTok owner Bytedance's Zhang Yiming, the founder of NIO dubbed ‘the Elon Musk of China' William Li and as well as Silicon Valley superstars Peter Thiel and Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly.
"We are integrating media and capital into the Founders' Office." says Gloria Ai. "With experienced professionals working on both our founder branding and finance teams, we want to empower founders not only with global reach and influence, but also with direct investment and advisory service in buyouts, M&A, and listed equities.
This integration of capital and channel exposure into a single "founders' office" seems to appeal to entrepreneurs in China's booming tech scene. The combination of growth capital, media knowhow, capital market resources, financing advisory and a network of syndication partnerships with English- and Chinese-language broadcast and publishing channels has earned iAsk Capital a spot on the cap tables of some of China's biggest media tech unicorns, including the $75 billion content giant Bytedance, China's leading podcasting platform Himalaya, and AI+ visual technology developer Moviebook.
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