By King & Wood Mallesons
In December 2017, King & Wood Mallesons (“KWM”) advised Beijing Horizon Robotics Technology Research and Development Co., Ltd. (“Horizon Robotics”) on its successful series A+ financing. This preferred equity financing raised approximately US$100 million. Although Horizon Robotics was only established two years ago, it has achieved extraordinary growth in its business valuation and has strengthened its competitive edge in the artificial intelligence (“AI”) industry as a result of this transaction.
Horizon Robotics is one of the few AI start-up companies that possesses the advanced algorithms and capabilities to design processor structures. The start-up company was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of the thirty “Technology Pioneers” in 2017. Intel Capital, Harvest, Milestone, JIC, Chaos and Horizon Robotics’ existing shareholders such as Hillhouse, Morningside, Wu-Capital and Linear Capital were among the major investors in this series A1-A5 round of financing.
KWM was proud to provide full-range, customized legal services to Horizon Robotics in its series A+ round of financing. In contrast to traditional TMT venture capital financings, this transaction was marked by a number of additional challenges as the AI industry has recently been attracting the attention of more investors. The KWM team drew on its experience in cross-border PE/VC deals and assisted Horizon Robotics to proactively resolve foreseeable issues by effectively communicating with the investors and coordinating with all parties. The KWM team also facilitated Horizon Robotics to establish a strategic alliance with a world leading AI chip designer and manufacturer. Through the strategic alliance, both parties will cooperate, share and market newly-developed technologies. More importantly, with adequate knowledge about the AI industry and led by partner Rocky Lee, the KWM team was also able to propose creative, practical and business-driven solutions to considerably expedite the progress and ensure timely closing of the transaction.
Rocky Lee commented, “AI is one of the hottest investment fields nowadays, and both startups and investors are highly active in this field. Despite having been established for only two years, Horizon Robotics has built up its brand in the market and secured its leading position in the AI industry. We are delighted to have engaged in this transaction and helped Horizon Robotics to pave its way to become the next AI unicorn in China.”