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China Chip Startup Biren Seeking Funds at $2.7 Billion Valuation

(Bloomberg) -- Chip designer Shanghai Biren Intelligent Technology Co. is seeking to raise fresh funds at a valuation of about 17 billion yuan ($2.7 billion) to fuel its growth, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Biren wants as much as 2 billion yuan and is working with advisers to gauge the interest of strategic and financial investors, the people said, asking not to be named as the matter is private. Discussions are ongoing and the fundraising target and valuation could still change, they said.

“As we are in the middle of the fundraising, we are not able to comment on the specifics of the deal,” the company said, adding it will disclose details publicly when it can.

Founded in 2019, Biren is among a slew of upstarts that China is betting on as it tries to become a chip powerhouse and reduce its reliance on U.S. technology. The company focuses on areas such as graphics processing units, cloud computing and integrated solutions, according to its website.

Allen Lee, the former head of the Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s research and development center in China, joined Biren last year as co-chief executive officer overseeing organization, management and product design.

The startup raised 4.7 billion yuan in 18 months from investors including IDG Capital, GL Ventures, Ping An Insurance Group Co., China Merchants Capital, CITIC Securities Investment Co. and Bertelsmann Asia Investments AG, among other backers, its website shows.

In October, Biren co-led an angel investment round into Shanghai-based YunSilicon, a smaller peer that designs cloud data center network chips, according to YunSilicon’s website.

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