The Chinese tech company, Baichuan Intelligent Technology, headquartered in Beijing, recently concluded a successful Series A1 financing round, securing a substantial $300 million for its ongoing development efforts. Baichuan, spearheaded by Wang Xiaochuan, the founder of the Chinese search service Sogou (a subsidiary of Tencent), specializes in AI technologies and has quickly gained recognition in the industry.
Pioneering AI Models and Regulatory Approval
Baichuan has set its sights on developing robust large language models (LLMs) designed to compete with industry giants like OpenAI. The company has introduced four open LLMs since its inception, with a collective download count of approximately 6 million. Notably, Baichuan-13B, built on the Transformer architecture with a staggering 13 billion parameters, is a standout model trained in both Chinese and English.
In addition to their open models, Baichuan has unveiled two proprietary LLMs, Baichuan-53B and Baichuan2-53B, each boasting an impressive 53 billion parameters. This innovation led to Baichuan becoming one of the first companies to receive regulatory approval in China for AI model production, enabling the commercialization of Baichuan2-53B.
Major Backing and Unicorn Status
In the initial financing round, Baichuan secured $50 million, with notable participation from industry giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd., and Xiaomi, notes NIXSolutions. This brings Baichuan’s total funding to a substantial $350 million and elevates the company’s market capitalization to over $1 billion, firmly establishing its status as a “unicorn.”