AI Startup Roundup: 2 Chinese Startups Raise $640 Million to Rival OpenAI

Also, funding raises for Prove Identity, Lemurian Labs, Aindo

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

October 23, 2023

2 Min Read
AI Business via DALL-E 3

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Zhipu (Beijing Zhipu Huazhang Technology Co.) developed Qingyan, a Chinese chatbot to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Zhipu also develops its own open source AI models.

Latest funding: 2.5 billion yuan or $340 million (from Bloomberg)

Investors: Alibaba, Tencent, Ant Group, Xiaomi, HongShan (formerly Sequoia China), food delivery firm Meituan


Baichuan is a Chinese startup founded by Wang XiaoChuan, former CEO of Sogou, a technology subsidiary of Tencent.

Baichuan builds large language models and was the startup behind the 13 billion parameter Baichuan-13B model, which boasts faster inference speeds than Meta’s Llama in Chinese tests.

Latest funding: $300 million (from Bloomberg)

Investors: Alibaba, Tencent, Xiaomi, Shunwei Capital

Prove Identity

New York-based Prove Identity (formerly Payfone) offers digital identity verification and authentication solutions.

Its solutions work by aligning data from a user’s smartphone to authenticate them. Its tech is used across a variety of sectors, including payments, gaming, insurance and health care.

Related:AI Startup Roundup: Chinese AI Chipmaker Raises $273 Million

Latest funding: $40 million, series not disclosed

Lead investors: MassMutual Ventures, Capital One Ventures

Funding plans: The funds will be used to launch new commerce enablement and fraud-fighting use cases and to fund Prove’s global expansion.

Lemurian Labs

Toronto-based Lemurian Labs is attempting to build affordable computing platforms to power AI applications.

The early-stage startup was founded by former staff from Nvidia, Google, AMD, Microsoft and Intel. They claim their concept involves using a novel number system to speed up AI workloads by up to 20 times greater throughput at one-tenth the cost of running an application on traditional GPUs.

Latest funding: $9 million, venture round

Lead investor: Oval Park Capital

Other investors: Good Growth Capital, Raptor Group, Alumni Ventures, Untapped Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Silicon Catalyst Angels, Blue Lake Capital, Futureland Ventures, AI Operators Fund and Tola Capital

Funding plans: The cash will go towards the company’s plans to build its AI chips as well as software to process AI workloads more efficiently.


Italian startup Aindo creates solutions for synthetic data generation. Its data platform collates synthetic data that companies can use to enrich existing knowledge bases or train AI models.

Related:AI Startup Roundup: OpenAI CEO Backs Teenagers’ AI Startup

Latest funding: $6.3 million, series A

Lead investor: United Ventures

Other investors: Vertis SGR

Funding plans: Aindo plans to hire new staff and continue the development of its AI solutions.

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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