Chipmaker Hailo raises $120 million riding on AI boom

FILE PHOTO: Illustration picture of semiconductor chips

By Jaspreet Singh

(Reuters) - Israel-based chipmaker Hailo has raised $120 million in a new funding round, valuing it at $1.2 billion, and released a high-performance generative AI chip, the company said on Tuesday.

The fundraising was led by existing and new investors including the Zisapel family, construction tools provider Comasco and online venture investing platform OurCrowd, among others. The latest round takes the total investment to more than $340 million since Hailo's inception in 2017.

"We are hoping to use the new funds to accelerate our growth and execute faster on our roadmap. Based on this and given the right market conditions, our aim is to become a publicly traded company," Hailo CEO and Co-Founder Orr Danon told Reuters, without providing any details on the timeline.

Investors are increasingly backing AI startups since the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT, betting on potential benefits from the growing adoption of the technology that could challenge industry leaders and expedite innovation.

Hailo, which has more than 300 customers globally including Schneider Electric, Dell Technologies and ABB, offers products such as AI accelerators and AI software suite.

The chipmaker said it has launched the Hailo-10 high-performance generative AI accelerator, which would help users to run GenAI applications locally without registering on cloud-based GenAI services, and would begin shipping samples of it in the second quarter of this year.

"Whether users employ GenAI to automate real-time translation ... generate software code, or images and videos from text prompts, Hailo-10 lets them do it directly on their PCs or other edge systems, without straining the CPU," Danon said in a statement.

The early applications of the Hailo-10 will target personal computers and automotive infotainment systems, boosting the processing capabilities of central processing units (CPUs), Hailo said.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)