ARM-backed Byd Semiconductor raises extra funds
Byd semiconductor, a spin-off from Chinese automobile maker Byd Co. Ltd., has secured an additional 800 million yuan (about US$113 million) in a Series A+ round of financing.

The funding comes only a few weeks after the company raised 1.9 billion yuan (about $265 million) and closed its Series A. In that round investors included a number of Chinese and foreign venture capital firms as well as strategic investors such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, SK Telecom the owner of SK Hynix, ARM China and leading Chinese foundry SMIC.

The latest addition to the Series A was because of a large number of Chinese financial institutions that wanted to be included. Investment affiliates of Chinese carmakers SAIC and BAIC are in the latest A+ round.

Byd Semiconductor was known as Shenzhen Byd Microelectronics Co. Ltd. when it was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Byd Co. Ltd. It’s main business is the manufacture of insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) and IGBT modules for use in electric vehicles. It also makes controllers, sensors and optoelectronic semiconductors.

Infineon Technologies had 58 percent of the market for IGBTs for electric vehicles in China in 2019 while Byd’s market share was 18 percent, according to a report from CITIC Securities.

Byd was founded in 1995 and began as a maker of rechargeable batteries and competing for Chinese market share against Japanese imports. The company raised money through an IPO in 2002 and moved into automobile manufacturing via the acquisition of Tsinchuan Automobile Co. Ltd, in the same year.