Israeli AI Chip Maker Hailo Raised $136M in Series C Funding Round

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Chip manufacturer from Israel, Hailo, which specializes in equipping devices such as smart cars or smart cameras with AI abilities, has become the latest unicorn on the block, touching a valuation of more than $1 billion. It becomes the newest such private unicorn company in Israel with its new Series C round of funding which saw $136 million being invested into it. This brings its cumulative funding amount to $224 million as per lundentechcrunch.

Edge refers to those devices which have installation at network edges or entry points throughout products like drones, autonomous vehicles, smarter home appliances, smart cameras, smart televisions, and personal assistants along with IoT (Internet of Things), VR (virtual reality), and AR (augmented reality) platforms, security-based products, and wearables.

Hailo’s investments were spearheaded by Gil Agmon, CEO of Delek Motors which is publicly traded and the only importer for Ford, BMW, and Mazda vehicles in Israel along with Poalim Equity. The round also saw existing investors participating. These included entrepreneurs from Israel, Zohar Zisapel, Chairman of Hailo and RAD Group founder and ABB Technology Ventures from Switzerland. Others included Latitude Ventures from London and OurCrowd from Israel along with newer investors like the Shlomo Group and Carasso Motors, the noted importer of vehicles.

Based on this agreement, Mooly Eden, the previous senior Vice President, Intel Corporation, will be joining the board of directors at Hailo while the advisory board will have the ex-CEO and co-founder at Mellanox Technologies (sold in 2019 to Nvidia for $7 billion), Eyal Waldman. Hailo started its journey in 2017 and is best known for its Hailo-8 processor that is tailored to fit into various smart devices and other machines. It comes from a complete re-imagining of conventional chip and computer designs while enabling smarter devices to undertake more refined deep learning tasks including segmentation and detecting objects on a real-time basis. This also includes low size, power consumption and costs as per the company’s statement.

The chip offers similar performance figures for smart devices in the manner of bigger computers at data centres, ensuring smarter edge products as the solutions for the future as per the company’s statements. Hailo has already scaled up its customer volumes to 100+ clients with more enterprises looking for enabling smarter devices and sensors with AI-based offerings. The company will be using the new funds for scaling up and expanding its global operations, taking a rising interest in its processor into account, while also scaling up its global engineering, customer support, sales and back-office teams at the same time. The company will be releasing several new software offerings for boosting its line-up while also foraying into varied new markets and functionalities alike. It will also focus on the development of next-gen technology according to the latest reports.

Hailo has already set up its fully-owned Tokyo subsidiary for enhancing its customer relationships and partnerships in Japan while foraying into the Asia-Pacific market as well. It has also inked a deal with Macnica, a major semiconductor distributor worldwide, for retailing its offerings in the country. Hailo has its headquarters in Tel Aviv along with offices in Munich, Taipei, and Silicon Valley, along with a team of 150 employees. The company is expecting to enhance it to 250 people by the coming year.

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