The investment will further deepen Black Sesame's partnership with Bosch, NIO Capital said.
NIO Capital, the venture capital arm of NIO, today announced that Black Sesame Technologies, a self-driving computing chip company in its portfolio, has secured an investment from Boyuan Capital, an investment platform set up by auto parts giant Bosch for the Chinese market.
The investment will further deepen Black Sesame's partnership with Bosch, NIO Capital said, without disclosing the amount or valuation information.
Founded in August 2016 with R&D centers in Shanghai and Silicon Valley, Black Sesame had received Series A funding from Northern Light Venture Capital in November 2016.
In January 2018, Black Sesame announced the completion of a strategic Series A+ funding round of nearly RMB 100 million, led by NIO Capital.
At the end of July last year, Black Sesame said its self-driving chip, the A1000 Pro, taped out, setting a new record for the computing power of such a chip built by a local company.
The A1000 Pro is based on the company's A1000 chip and is optimized for 106 TOPS of computing power, up to 196 TOPS, Black Sesame said.
The A1000 Pro's built-in high-performance GPU can support high-definition 360-degree 3D panoramic image rendering, covering L3/L4 high-level autonomous driving functions and supporting autonomous driving scenarios from parking and city roads to highways.
The company said the A1000 Pro is the only chip in China that can meet the ISO 26262 ASIL D safety requirements for high computing power.
At the end of September last year, Black Sesame announced the completion of its strategic and Series C funding rounds, both of which amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars and gave it a valuation of nearly $2 billion.
Investors in the strategic round at the time included Xiaomi-backed Hubei Xiaomi Yangtze Industrial Fund, and FulScience Automotive Electronics participated. Its Series C round was led by Hubei Xiaomi Yangtze Industrial Fund, with participation from investors including Wingtech Technology and Summitview Capital.
Black Sesame and Bosch will join forces to create smart driving solutions, accelerate the application of smart driving technology and make autonomous driving a normal part of people's travel lives sooner rather than later, said Liu Weihong, co-founder and COO of the company, according to a press release from NIO Capital today.
It is worth noting that Black Sesame and Bosch already started working together several years ago.
In 2018, Black Sesame, which was founded only two years ago, signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation framework agreement with Bosch, agreeing to cooperate in the fields of smart city, smart home, smart networked cars and autonomous driving.